Thursday, July 3, 2014

How to not Overeat at a Restaurant

McDougals Restaurant in Nashville, TN
Photo Credit: Jenny 

When going out to eat, you should know that you are eating out to have fun and you may need to break your diet and healthy eating habits a little. It is possible to have fun while eating out and still eat healthy. Here are ten tips to not overeat:
  1. My number one tip is drink water. It will stop you from over eating and will cleanse your taste buds of addicting food like delicious garlic bread, chips or sweets. I drink at least three glasses of water during the course of a meal and it signals my brain that I am close to becoming full.
  2. Order only one drink or soda. Drinks are empty calories and can add up quickly.
  3. Do not indulge too much in the bread basket unless you absolutely are hungry and cannot wait any longer, or the bread is special and well-liked.  If you have to eat a slice of bread, break it in half and chew it slowly. You may not feel the need to finish the whole entire slice. Sometimes the slices are small and it’s worth eating the whole slice.
  4. Make special requests. Restaurants want to be able to accommodate their guests as annoying as they may be. After all there are vegetarians and vegans. What’s the harm in asking for less butter on the noodles or no cheese?
  5. Share. Split a salad and entree. Restaurants do not have enough vegetables, but salads can come packed with dressing and extra foods. Feel free to ask for dressing on the side. Entrees come with an overwhelming amount of food depending on the restaurant. To avoid overeating, share with a friend or family member. If you choose to order desert, do not order one by yourself. Desserts can add 200-400 extra calories for the night. I am a chocolate lover and always share with my parents.
  6. Order appetizers or first course items as your main entrée. The dishes are small and will not allow you to over eat. I love ordering first course items such as grilled prawns and steak tartar at La Belle Vie and Vincent's in Minneapolis.
  7. When ordering an entrée, eat half and save the rest for tomorrow’s lunch or dinner, or split an entrée with a friend. Ask for a box immediately so you do not continue to pick at your food while you wait for your friends and family to finish their entrées. 
  8. Chew your food slowly. I struggle with this a lot and still have to remind myself to do this. It is not a race to finish your food. The longer it takes you to finish your food, the more you will realize you are full and satisfied.
  9. Brush your teeth immediately when you get home. Your mouth will feel clean and leave a minty favor, stopping you from munching later throughout the night.
  10. The most important rule- you are out to eat and it’s important to INDULGE. Become aware of the ambience at the restaurant. You aren’t just going for the food or are you? Try soaking in the sounds, smells and scenery of the restaurant.  Discuss with your friends and families what you like about this restaurant and strike up conversations about what you notice. After all going out to eat is not just about the food, but being in a different micro-culture and having people wait on you. If you restrict too much, then you will wind up eating something later to make up for it. If you want to order the big juicy fettuccine alfredo with extra sauce, nobody is stopping you. I promise you, one day of bad eating will not hurt you as long as you get back on track. 

No comments:

Post a Comment