Complete Guide to Staying Lean While Eating Out
Post Written By: Victoria Lim
Summertime, and the living is easy… At least while you’re on a vacation. So many of us were looking forward to summer and a chance to go on a vacation that we were counting days until we’re finally able to hit the beach and forget about our office. And while sandy beaches, lovely sunsets, and delicious meals all make a vacation memorable, when we get back we tend to regret eating so many delicious high-calorie meals, because we put on a lot of weight. If you’re about to eat out a lot, here’s what you have to remember.
Know What To Avoid
Regardless of what kind of restaurant you’ll be visiting, there will be things on the menu which you better avoid. For example, deep fried foods that use trans fats, as well as sodas and juices since these, contain high doses of sugar. There are also several other major culprits for excess fat on our bodies such as refined starchy carbohydrates, processed sugars, as well as refined vegetable oils. Skip the basket of bread as well as the French fries that come with pretty much any dish, and instead ask for a side of vegetables or a simple salad.
Light Meals Are Lifesavers
Know which foods are ‘safe’ and stick to those: grilled vegetables, chicken, as well as fish. When you’re feeling hungry and don’t think that a salad will do, you can always ask the waiter to ‘triple the vegetables’. Veggies are nutritious and healthy, but in restaurants, the veggies are often only used as a garnish, merely a carrot, and some squash. When ordering, ask them to give you three or four times the normal serving of vegetables, and offer to pay extra. There are many restaurants that won’t charge you these at all, and you probably won’t be disappointed. This way, you will be ordering and eating food that will make you feel full instead of fat.
Don’t Forget To Move It, Move It
If you eat out often, you are more likely to get lazy and cut down on your daily exercise. You will probably be getting to the restaurant with a taxi because you don’t want to be late, and you’ll be going home the same way because you’ll feel full and sleepy. If you’re hoping to get lean and stay fit, you should move more. This means getting to the restaurant by foot instead of driving there. Ask the taxi to leave you a couple of blocks from the actual address and walk there. The same goes for the end of the meal; if you don’t want to walk home, take public transport or a taxi and don’t go all the way to your front door. Walking will make you will feel energized and it will help you burn some of those calories you took in over dinner.
You can always try sharing your entree with someone else, as there are restaurants that have up to 4-digit calorie entrees, so splitting it between two people is actually a good idea. Try skipping rice and fries altogether, and ask for fruits and vegetables, and in general avoid fried and cream-based foods. Always ask for stuff cheese and salad dressing on the side, and don’t eat the whole dish. Instead, eat only half and take the rest home.
Keep Your Desserts Healthy
Eating out is amazing, you don’t have to cook or wash the dishes after your meal, but they come with a downside – you usually put on weight because everything is so delicious. The desserts are usually the ‘trap’ that most of us fall into since restaurants offer extravagant chocolate and caramel delights that are just too good to pass. Instead of eating desserts out, you can make your own desserts at home. Take several minutes to prepare delicious protein powder pancakes or muffins, and eat them with raw honey and fresh fruit instead with syrup and chocolate. This way, you will get your dose of sweets, but you won’t feel guilty afterward.
It doesn’t matter if you eat out on regular basis because of your job, or you indulge only when you’re on a vacation, if you’re hoping to stay lean, you should be careful when ordering food. Always keep in mind that it takes a lot effort to get rid of bad habits, but also that one ‘bad’ meal won’t make you fat, just as one ‘good’ meal won’t make you skinny.
Victoria is a journalist and a fitness enthusiast. She has a B.Sc. in nutrition and even spent a few years working as a personal trainer. She’s quite passionate about writing, and sharing her tips and tricks. When she’s not writing, she tries to squeeze in as much traveling and discovering more inspiration as she can.