WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE ABOUT GOING OUT TO EAT?
All those delicious foods, prepared for you … and no cleanup! Dining out is even more enjoyable when you’re in good company with family, friends, and loved ones. But when it comes to nutrition and your health, making your way through a restaurant menu is like walking through a minefield. Many foods contain added fat, salt, sugar and preservatives … and excess calories. Many meals include more than enough calories to fuel you for an entire day. We’re committed to helping you achieve results, which is why we created this guide to help you make the best choices no matter what cuisine you’re eating. Dining out should be a pleasure … and not derail all your efforts!
RESTAURANT EATING 101
When you go out to eat, it can be hard to know exactly what’s IN the food you’re eating. Is it made from scratch at the restaurant, or is it processed with preservatives at a factory and heated up locally? No matter where it’s prepared, study after study shows that restaurant food contains more salt and fat than home-cooked meals and hundreds (if not thousands!) more calories. For example, one study showed 92 percent of non-chain restaurant meals had more calories than “typical energy requirements for a single eating session, ” with many racking up between 1,205 to 1,670 calories (even salads).
Studies also show that the restaurant environment encourages people to eat more. For example, one study found that when people ate the same restaurant meal at home, they ate LESS of it! In the United States, new laws require chain restaurants to show calorie information on their menus. But calories can be only part of the story!
Remember: your mindset is your best asset, especially if you eat out regularly. When we eat at a restaurant, we often think of it as a celebration, Even if it’s just a regular meal that happens to be eaten away from home. When you indulge, make sure it’s truly worth it! This guide contains general tips for eating out no matter where you eat, as well as a cuisine-by-cuisine list of suggestions.
1. Plan ahead
Look at the menu online before you leave home and choose what you want to order. Most restaurants post their menus on their websites or social media. Find out if the restaurant offers a gluten-free menu. Often, gluten-free options contain fewer grains and more veggies.
2. Before you leave, eat a light snack (example: an apple and a couple of almonds). Then, drink 8 ounces of water.
3. At the restaurant
Always order sauce on the side. Avoid anything fried or in a cream sauce. Instead, choose a protein with two vegetables and healthy fat (such as avocado). Order your burger with no bun or on a salad. Ask for no added salt. Add extra vegetables. Instead of pasta, potatoes, or rice, ask for a double order of mixed vegetables.
Download our Free Dining Out Guide, and I’ll show you how to master any restaurant style so you can still eat out and not sabotage your fitness goals!
Click on the link on this page or go to maxstrengthfitness.com/diningout/