Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Tipster: Tips for Dining Out Healthy

Today's Workout:
4 mile run
7 sets of: 7 air squats and 7 burpees

Do you find yourself always eating at food establishments rather than at home? If your answer is yes you're not the only one. I could ramble on and on about how eating at home is way healthier than dining out, but the truth is, most of us work long hours and sometimes we just don't want to cook. While I think that dining out should be kept at a minimum, I also understand that life places demands on us and we can't always oblige to doing the "right" thing.

Dining out could be a tricky situation for most of us. The delicious smell of fried food, the bread basket, the enormous variety of beers and wine, the decadent desserts all stare at us in the face when were there. So how can we avoid these temptations and opt to eating a healthier variety of food?

For me, it's taken years to learn how to resist temptations. The way I look at it now is A) the pleasure of eating badly is only temporary, B) eating unhealthy is not conducive to my training and C) I'm going to feel sick after I eat all that food. The cons outweigh the pros in this situation, so I boldly pass the bread basket and the fried foods and I ask for a glass of water instead of a glass of beer.

Here are some tips when dining out:
1. If possible, navigate the menu before you arrive at the restaurant. That will save you a lot of time in trying to decide what you can eat or not eat.
2. Be assertive. When the waiter/waitress asks you for your order, inquire about food substitutions. For example, you could ask them if the chicken can be grilled instead of fried. Or can I get a baked potato instead of French fries. Or can I get veggies instead of rice. Just assume that YOU COULD HAVE IT YOUR WAY!
3. Ask for the "skinny" menu. Most restaurants have healthy options now. For instance, the Cheesecake Factory has the "Skinny Menu" and places like Apple Bees has a Weight Watchers friendly menu.
4. Split your entrée or ask for a smaller portion. Most restaurants serve a double portion in the entrees. You could ask for a smaller portion or you could share the plate with someone else.
5. Opt for a salad as an appetizer. Research has shown that eating a small salad before an entrée will usually lead a person to eat fewer calories for the remainder of the dinner.
6. Keep your appetizer and entrée healthy. Avoid creamy sauces, certain dressings, croutons, bacon bits, fried foods, butter, grease, etc. For salads, you could do the fork dip. Dip your fork into the dressing and place it on the salad.
7. Ask for clarification on the menu. Aren't sure how a certain food is made? Ask the waiter to explain it to you. Beware of words like creamy, stuffed, breaded, sauced, buttery, sautéed, pan-fried, au gratin, scalloped, cheese sauce, Parmesan, a la mode, etc.
8. Skip the fancy drinks. If you must order an alcoholic drink, forget the margaritas, piña coladas, and other exotic mixed drinks. They include sugary additions that only add calories. Opt instead for a glass of wine or light beer.
9. Skip the bread basket. Enough said!
10. Order fish when you can. Fish is usually the most healthy option. Make sure it's grilled, broiled, steamed, baked or blackened.
11. Drink water throughout your meal. It'll help you eat slower.
12. Skip the dessert. If you really want a dessert, opt for a sorbet, fruit bowl or coffee.
Do you find it difficult to resist temptations when dining out?

I'm grateful that today is my Friday at work.
Look out weekend cause here I come =).


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