October 27, 2013

Eating Out

I'm teaching an eight week Brown Bag Lunch class called "Lose and Win". I was hired by a large health insurance company that has this program in companies all across the country.

The employees meet once a week and eat their Brown Bag Lunch while I talk to them about a different topic every week. This week is "Eating Healthy - In and Out". In this post I'm including some tips from the program for eating out.

If you're trying to lose weight or eat healthy, eating out can be challenging.

It definitely can be challenging to eat out with all the temptations on the menu and in the glass cases teasing us. Below are suggestions for a strategy when eating out.

  • Start with a vegetable based soup or salad instead of bread or appetizer
  • Order an appetizer portion to help keep portion sizes small
  • Order the foods you want a la carte to keep you from eating the additional foods that may come with a meal
  • Ask for condiments (butter, sour cream, mayo), dressings and sauces on the side
  • Don't worry about getting your money's worth and focus on the savings you will get for improving your health
  • Split an entree with a friend or ask the server to box up half before bringing you the meal
  • Share dessert with the table or order a bowl of fresh fruit or small serving of ice cream
  • Choose water, unsweetened tea, soda water or other non-calorie beverages
  • Ask for healthy substitutions such as steamed vegetables instead of mashed potatoes or fresh fruit instead of fries.
  • Order simple dishes with few ingredients as these are more likely to be healthy
  • Look for symbols on the menu to help you determine healthier items or ask your server for suggestions

If you know your going out to eat for dinner like I am with my wife Carol tonight we'll eat low calorie meals or snacks (mostly healthy snacks) throughout the day so we can enjoy our meal and still keep the total calories for the day in check. You also don't want to arrive at the restaurant starving to the point you eat everything in sight.

Check out the restaurant's website to get an idea of healthier meals that will taste good without having the pressure of making a decision at the table. After viewing the menu you may even choose a different restaurant.

I was told by a dietitian not to deprive yourself and eat what you want, just eat everything in moderation. If your not trying to eat your meals with healthy foods then enjoy all your favorites but watch your PORTION SIZES!

Look at eating healthy and eating less like practicing Yoga, you want to take small steps and make the steps baby steps when starting out. In both cases it's healthier and definitely more enjoyable for you. The results will totally amaze you as it has for me.

Happy & Healthy,
Yoga Chuck

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