Tips For Eating Out

November 16, 2012

Tips For Eating OutEating out is always tricky when you’re on a diet, but there is no need to avoid going out altogether. Try to limit your meals out to once a week during the weight-loss phase of your diet. Once you have moved onto the maintenance plan, you can eat out more often. Here are some simple tips for eating out without falling off the wagon.

  1. Take it easy with the alcohol
    • Alcohol contains lots of kilojoules and may also add kilojoules by increasing the amount you eat.
    • Alternate your alcoholic drinks with mineral water or a diet soft drink.
    • Don’t allow top-ups of your alcoholic drinks. They make it too easy to lose track of how much you’re drinking!
  2. Watch the nibbles
    • If you’re going to a friend’s house for dinner or having friends over, be careful with the nibbles – they can be kilojoule kryptonite!
    • Use vegetables rather than biscuits for dipping. Sticks of carrot, celery and cucumber, or mushroom caps, snowpeas,¬†parboiled cauliflower and broccoli, all look fabulously colourful and appetising. Dips such as carrot and coriander, hummus, tzatziki, eggplant or beetroot taste great and are light on kilojoules.
    • Include fruit as nibbles. Cherries, strawberries and slices of melon are great alternatives to the deep-fried morsels often served.
    • Try to avoid salty chips, and biscuits and pastries. If serving nuts, leave them in their shells so that you can’t eat them as quickly.
    • Eat slowly and savour the taste. Spend more time talking, listening and laughing.
  3. Count your courses
    • It’s helpful not to be over-hungry when you go out to dinner. A good idea is to eat one of your dairy units, such as a tub of yoghurt, an hour or so before going out. That should take the edge off your hunger for a while.
    • If you’re having more than one course, try to choose a soup as an entree – vegetable-based soups are best. Remember to ask the chef not to add cream.
    • Dishes consisting mainly of protein foods, such as smoked salmon, carpaccio, or chicken or prawn dishes, can be a good option if the meat has not been battered and deep-fried.
    • If there are no suitable mains, a safe bet is to choose 2 entrees instead of an entree and a main.
    • Avoid hoeing into the bread and butter.
    • If there is a set menu, don’t eat everything on your plate. Eat all of the protein-food component and the free list vegetables, but only half the mash or chips.
    • Restaurants never seem to serve main meals with enough vegetables these days. Always ask for a side salad or steamed vegetables on the side. They will slow down your eating and fill you up as well.
    • Desserts are always tricky. If you can resist, great! If not, it’s best to share one.

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