It starts with a single piece of bread that turns into four.
Truthfully, you’re not even hungry by the time your savory entree in a serving size big enough to be a Thanksgiving feast for an entire army arrives. By the time you’ve cleaned your plate, you’re left uncomfortably full of too much food and subsequent guilt. Even dining at a restaurant without rules and restrictions can leave you unhappy. Strike a balance while dining out for the night by keeping your indulgences healthy and satisfying with the following tips.
Don’t Get Emotional
Deprivation will lead to self-destruction. If you look forward to your girl’s night out with dread because you’re trying to drop some pounds, then it may get emotional as you start to feel deprived. Go into the night with a plan of attack. A woman who indulges in more than two drinks a day consumes about 30 percent more calories, so forgoing drinks to save calories may be a good start. If you do decide to drink one glass of wine, pick a protein and veggie dish as your meal and skip the sides. If your heart’s set on pasta, say no to alcohol. Ask for whole wheat pasta and a light lemon sauce without cheese or creams. Pick your battles, stay committed and you won’t self-destruct at the dinner table.
Sharing Is Caring
Sharing food is caring for your health and your loved ones. Portion sizes at restaurants can be exorbitant and even big enough to split into three satisfying meals. Go family style! Pick and choose a variety of entrees and appetizers that you can share. Sharing a main course isn’t a free pass to splurge on fried chicken, a loaded baked potato, ribs, and cheesy fries though. Instead, split salmon, grilled chicken, brown rice, and steamed veggies. Not only can you save yourself from gluttony and consuming massive amounts of calories, but you’ll save money and encourage your family to eat healthy too.
Make Substitutions & Healthy Requests
Don’t be afraid to speak up and make healthy requests. Choose to have your food grilled, broiled, baked, steamed, or poached. Ask if your dish can be cooked with olive oil in place of butter. Substitute cheesy risotto and buttery mashed potatoes with a vegetable medley or side salad with light dressing. Also, ask your waiter for recommendations on how you can lighten your meal or choose healthy, low-calorie alternatives.
Heading out for drinks and dinner while ravenous will only lead to a loss of self-control, guilt and overstuffed feelings of misery. Prevent a growling stomach from overtaking healthy judgment by snacking on a few bites of whole wheat pitas with hummus or edamame. The chickpeas in hummus are rich in protein and a great source of calcium. Those green soybean pods are full of vitamins, protein and iron. Your pre-dinner warm-up will not only curb extreme hunger and prevent you from overeating, but it will kick-start your evening into an enjoyable night!