Each month I receive an e-newsletter from a gym I used to go to (through their outdoor boot camp). I really like the practical advice (mostly about eating and exercise) that they give in their articles. This month's topic is eating at restaurants, and making healthy decisions!
Sometimes choosing from a restaurant menu can be overwhelming and it's nice to have some guidance points. Read below for some great tips on drinks, appetizers, entrees, etc. Also, they've added in some extra points, including a yummy Protein Pumpkin Pancakes recipe!
Best Takeaway Point:
"It is said that 80% of your weight loss results are derived from diet, and the remaining 20% from exercise—so you can see how important it is for you to stick with a healthy eating plan."
MY PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY ON ORDERING OUT
1. What do you REALLY want to Eat?
Think about what you really want to eat before you order, and order what you want within reason. If you're not craving a salad, don't get a salad! If you're craving pasta, get pasta - but you've got to practice portion control and stop eating when you are full. I am a huge fan of ordering what I want and eating just HALF of my entree and saving the other half for lunch the next day (calorie and cost effective!). As long as you exercise portion control and remember to get in all the necessary food groups and nutrients on a regular basis, you should be good to go.
2. How HUNGRY are you...really?
Listen to your body. I often get into situations where I go out to eat but I'm not very hungry and I feel like I "should" order an entree because everyone else is. That is no excuse. If you are not truly hungry, it's a waste of calories and $ to order something because you "should." You won't feel satisfied in the end and you'll regret making certain decisions. It's okay to get a couple "small plates" or a cup of soup + a side salad (my favorite "small meal") or share an entree with a friend! By doing this you often get more variety, too!
3. Stick to the Basics
Of course, try not to get into a habit of OD-ing on carbs and sugar (along with high fat meals) every time you go out. Maybe one meal you'll get a pasta dish and the next time fish with veges. Also watch out for salt - it's amazing how much salt restaurants add to their food. If you always feel like you need to add salt to your food at a restaurant, you most likely do not need to - you CAN "retrain" your taste buds to using less.
Note: I am not a nutritionist or personal trainer, but these methods have worked for me very well in the past few years, hands down!
Seattle Boot Camp