Hello friends! Hope you had a wonderful week and survived Valentine’s Day without too much chocolate or candy hearts. I told my Valentine no candy, no flowers and no stuffed animals. My Valentine and I had planned to celebrate with a sunset picnic at the beach but Mother Nature thought otherwise. It was rainy and there was not going to be a sunset, no matter how much I wanted one. So plan B was surprise reservations to a popular restaurant along historic 5th Ave, in Naples. Much to my delight, we both practiced self-control and focused more on the atmosphere and the experience than pigging out on the yummy food. Afterwards, I felt satisfied and not bloated or stuffed. Eating out often leads to overeating, whether we actively eat too much, because of the way foods are prepared, or simply due to the ingredients used in the preparation of the meal. Eating out (not just fast-food) can lead to weight gain, and I want you to be able to maintain your weight (or lose weight if needed) and lead a healthy life.
Here are my tips for eating out:
Make eating out not about eating – enjoy the scenery, the view, the company, the conversation, and the experience. Take your time and don’t let the waiter rush the experience. We often meet up with friends or family over a meal, so make it about them…not the food.
Order wisely – We always need to be making smart choices for our health. Eating out shouldn’t be the reason you make an unhealthy choice, although many of us use that as our excuse. Order grilled or baked choose chicken or fish instead of fatty steaks, and avoid sides that are fried.
Ask questions – The seasonal vegetable sounds like a great choice right? Well be sure ask how things are prepared. Maybe that broccoli is cooked with butter… and you thought you made a wise choice. Ask for dressing and condiments on the side.
Do not eat the entire meal – Portions are out of control! Either box up half before you dig in, or have the self control to stop before you feel full. Remember that you are getting more calories than you would if you had prepared the same meal at home due to preparation methods.
Be thrifty – Order water, skip the appetizers and desserts, and leave out the alcoholic beverages or stick to one drink. The sugary sodas, cheesy and fried appetizers, and the chocolaty tempting desserts not only make your bill larger, they also add empty calories.
You have probably heard many of these tips before. My challenge to you is to stop using the excuse of eating out to make poor choices. I am just as guilty in this department, so I was surprised that on Valentine’s Day I happened to not throw my ‘healthy card’ out the window. You can eat out AND eat healthy. So next time you are eating out and looking at a menu, I challenge you to eat smart and eat healthy.