The Health Guru

Facts, Hints, Tips, Advice and Inspiration on everything to do about health & weight loss.

Eating Out Tips: Part 1

Posted on | November 7, 2009 | No Comments

Eating out for most people is a way of life.  Eating at restaurants is no longer kept for special occasions, nowadays this can be a daily occurrence at home and also at work with many business deals have been won over knives and forks. For the weight conscious this can be frightening as we’re all aware chefs don’t seem to be shy of using a stick of butter or two to create happy customers.  However, there is no need to lock yourself up in your house or change jobs when it comes to eating out and managing your weight -it’s just about making smart decisions and at all times never, never, never give up the fight against fat.  I often blog about the healthy choices I make when eating out, but here is a combined list of recommendations that I think about and recommend to fellow weight warriors:

Research The Menu: Have a look on-line at their menu and choose the healthiest options.  This also helps to plan your meal ahead of time so you don’t get tempted while you are there to order sinful dishes

Portion, Portion, Portion: Eating out and managing your weight is all about portion sizes.  Don’t let your eyes be too big for your stomach.

Practice hara hachi bu: which translates to ‘eating till you’re 80 percent full’.  There is no need to gorge yourself.  Remember that your brain needs time to register it’s full.

Order an entree for your main meal: This is a great way to save calories.  Even try two entrees to save calories and cut down on portion sizes.

Start with a soup: Soups fill you up so you don’t overeat at your other meals. Try for clear soups before the creamy ones

Avoid Fat-traps: Avoid any dishes that contain these words in the description –  cream, creamy, buttered, oil, au gratin, breaded, alfredo, batter, tempura, fried, shallow fried, lightly fried, foie gras, crispy, escalloped, pan-fried, sautéed.

Customise you meal: If you will be tempted when it arrives on your plate, then ask them to leave it off. Don’t be afraid to ask them not to serve fries & gravy with your meal. Ask for salad with low fat salad dressing or steamed vegetables instead.

Get Sauce on the Side: Often food comes smothered in sauces and gravies.  Ask for a portion on the side and you can add as much or as little as you want.

Take the skin Off: Take the skin off chicken and avoid other fatty cuts of meat such as pork belly, bacon, and pork crackling.

Ask for less salt: Again don’t be afraid to ask for less salt or soy sauce. And of course avoid MSG. Add flavour to your meal with a squeeze of lemon or lime, herbs, spices, fresh chilli, vinegar, black pepper.

Beware of the condiment trap: Tomato, BBQ and Sweet Chilli Sauce, Mayonnaise, Aioli, Caesar, Tartare, Béarnaise, Hollandaise, Thousand Island, Ranch Dressing and ‘special sauces’ are calorie bombs!  2 tablespoons of any of the above can add an additional 100 calories to your meal.  Opt for vinaigrette, squeeze of lemon / lime or try mustard.

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