Are you trying to lose weight but find yourself constantly eating out with friends or family? Eating out does not need to sabotage your low-calorie diet. There are practical tips and tricks you can implement to ensure you stay on track with your health goals.
Before going out to eat, plan your meal ahead of time. Most restaurants now have their menus available online, so you can check what options are low-calorie and plan accordingly. If the restaurant does not list calorie counts or nutritional information, you can still make smart choices by selecting grilled or roasted options and avoiding fried or creamy dishes.
Choose lean proteins
When it comes to protein, choose lean cuts like chicken breast, fish, and turkey. These options offer a good source of protein without added calories. Be wary of red meat options, which can be high in saturated fats and calories.
Swap the sides
Most restaurants offer a variety of sides to choose from, but not all of them are low-calorie options. Swap out fries or mashed potatoes for a side salad or steamed vegetables. Another trick is to ask for a double serving of said vegetables to bulk up the nutritional value of your meal.
Watch your portions
Restaurant portions can be enormous, so try to eat slowly and stop when you feel full. You can also opt for half portions or share a dish with a friend. Alternatively, ask for a to-go container when your food arrives, and put half your meal away for leftovers.
Avoid liquid calories
Alcoholic drinks and sugary sodas can quickly add up in calories. Stick to water, unsweetened ice tea or black coffee instead. If you must have an alcoholic drink, opt for a wine spritzer, a light beer or a spirit with a calorie-free mixer like soda water.
Say no to bread baskets
Most restaurants offer bread baskets or other pre-meal snacks. These can add up in calories and carbohydrates, so avoid them altogether or limit yourself to one small piece.
Eating out does not need to be stressful when you are trying to lose weight. By planning ahead, making smart food choices and watching your portions, you can stay on track with your health goals while still enjoying a meal out with friends or family. Remember to drink water or calorie-free drinks, avoid bread baskets, and choose lean proteins and low-calorie sides.