5 tips for eating out on a diet, from an RD

Nothing ruins a diet like a night on the town.

Glasses are exchanged, appetizers are ordered, and before you know it, you’ve dined and dined like a 17th-century nobleman with gout and a broken heart.

Why is eating out so bad for your diet? Courtney Smith, a registered dietitian, diabetes specialist and founder of Keys to Nutrition, explains to The Post that the goal of satisfying customers often comes at the expense of their well-being.

“Restaurants aim to make you happy and make you a repeat customer,” says Smith. “To do this, they often use inexpensive ways to improve the taste of food salt, sugar, heavy cream, etc. When you see how much of these ingredients they are adding, most of us wouldn’t use that amount at home. “

Smith points to portion sizes as one reason people overeat when they go out. EdNurg – stock.adobe.com

Smith also calls out portion size as counterproductive to living lean: “You may have noticed when you’re eating out that the portion sizes are too big. As Americans, we eat with our eyes. If restaurants gave us the recommended portion size, most of us would be tempted. We want our money’s worth, and if they give us more, they can pay more, but these excessive portion sizes are a big reason why we consume more calories when we eat out.”

Despite the large portions and copious amounts of flavor enhancers, Smith assures that it’s possible to enjoy a night on the town without a tomorrow full of regrets.

Read on for her list of tips and tricks to stay on track when eating out.

Go in with a game plan

Smith suggests planning your order in advance by perusing menus online. stock – stock.adobe.com

For Smith, the first step to success is choosing a restaurant with healthy options and planning your order before you go.

She tells The Post, “When you’re out with your friends, you’re confused and you’re trying to catch up, there can be pressure to order and peer pressure to jump on the bandwagon of what others are ordering. We are lucky these days that everyone usually has their own menu online. With my clients, I always suggest they look at the menu beforehand and make a healthy choice before going out.”

Choose before you drink alcohol

Alcohol lowers inhibitions and increases appetite, a single hit that can compromise your diet. kichigin19 – stock.adobe.com

Knowing what you’re going to order before you drink an alcoholic beverage is also essential to maintaining a healthy diet.

“Often when we’re social we might have a drink or two. Once alcohol is on board, we usually won’t go for salad or healthy vegetables. Because alcohol increases appetite and lowers inhibition, we’ll choose the hamburger and fries,” Smith tells The Post.

She also recommends alternating any alcoholic drink with a glass of water to maintain proper hydration.

Skip apps

Appetizers are often fried and higher in calories than other menu items. stockbusters – stock.adobe.com

When you arrive hungry, want to share or the food is taking too long, few things are more tempting than a free appetizer or bread basket, both of which can put you in the danger zone.

Smith explains, “Snacks are often high-calorie, high-fat, and possibly fried foods that we all order. I think that’s where a lot of the calories come from in the restaurant.”

She notes that restaurants use bread to keep customers happy while they wait, but you can plan ahead to remove the basket, “You always have the option of asking your server not to bring bread to the table.”

No, you don’t want fries with this

Smith and the USDA recommend filling half of your plate with vegetables. nblxer – stock.adobe.com

Smith tells The Post that when it comes to sides, “Always replace the fries with a side salad or vegetable of the day, which is usually steamed. Not all, but most countries will have this option.”

Smith’s suggestion supports the USDA’s recommendation to fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables.

If you choose a salad over fries, half the battle for health is won! To really go the distance with your diet, Smith recommends ordering salad dressing on the side to control how much you’re consuming and skipping heavy dressings like Caesar or ranch in favor of simple vinaigrettes. “These dressings are usually oil and vinegar-based, and oil is a healthy fat compared to creamy, high-saturated-fat dressings,” she notes.

Pack it before you dig

Consider asking for a to-go box when the food arrives so you can instantly save half for later. nyul – stock.adobe.com

Smith recommends planning ahead for portion control by looking for a to-go box when your food hits the table.

“There’s no rule that you have to wait until you’re done eating to ask for that to-go box. Ask for it when the food comes and immediately put half in it. I find that if you don’t ask for it, you just end up eating everyone, even though you didn’t mean to,” she tells The Post.

Smith notes that the to-go box trick saves customers money since you’re essentially getting two meals out of your dining experience. Similar to the to-go box trick, sharing a healthy meal with your friend or date ensures proper portion control.

#tips #eating #diet
Image Source : nypost.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top