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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dining out do's and dont's

Dining out while trying to maintain or lose weight doesn't have to be difficult. Use the strategies below to enjoy an evening out without the stress!

  1. Set A Budget- Determine how much you are going to eat before you head out to the restaurant. Remember you can be a little lenient just add some activity or a brisk walk to your day. Also remember to be flexible on special occasions and enjoy life, just make sure you eat carefully most of the time.
  2. Put On Your Game Face- Determine guidelines- such as skipping the pre-set 5 meal menu special and order al carte menu items. Take one piece of bread and then ask the waiter to remove the basket.
  3. Make Special Request-Hold the cheese, sauce or dressing on the side, substitute a side salad or veggies for the french fries etc.
  4. Practice Portion Control- Ask for a to go box when the meal arrives and put away half your meal before you start eating (save for lunch or dinner tomorrow). Order a salad first and share and entree with a friend or just order a few appetizers instead of an entire entree.
  5. Break Down (Language) Barriers- If you don't know ask!? These words tend to mean high fat , high calories dishes- Au gratin, hollandaise, fried, sauteed, scalloped, bolognese, scampi, parmigiana etc.
  6. Downsize The Super Size- Order a children's meal or a smaller meal like a basic burger. After the first few bites it all starts to taste the same.
  7. Watch Out For Extras- such as cheese, bacon, mayo, double patties, bread, etc.
  8. Don't Go Top Heavy- Extra toppings on your salad can sabotage your efforts. Go light on croutons, cheese, bacon and dressing.
  9. Don't Drink Away Your Progress- Drinking with the meal is fine but too many margaritas may wreck havoc on your diet. Remember to alternate each drink with water.
  10. Resign From The "Clean Plate Club"- remember it takes 20 minutes for your body to feel full.

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