Eating out without the guilt

Share this program

 By TAPfit Dietician, Julie Masci.

Eating out is becoming a bigger and bigger part of our everyday lives. Many people eat out at least once a day and some eat almost all meals away from home. With our busy lifestyles, eating out is likely to continue being a big part of our lives. Dining out is also a way to socialize with friends and family or to celebrate special occasions. Therefore, it may be unrealistic or impossible to completely avoid eating out, so we need to learn how to manage it instead. Along with any other lifestyle change, eating out can be  part of a healthy life as long as you are willing to preplan and learn to make better choices.

First it is critical to watch portions when eating out, as most restaurants serve as much as 2-3 servings of food per plate. Start by learning at home how to eyeball a single serving of food, especially for those high in carbohydrates. High carbohydrate foods, such as rice or pasta, are cheap for restaurants and are served in very large quantities. Consider asking your server to box up half of your meal before coming to the table to prevent you from over eating. Or share entrees, which are usually enough for more than two people.

Before going out be sure to become familiar with the menu, if it is available online. To prevent you from ordering an unhealthy choice, it can be helpful to know your menu before you even arrive at the restaurant. Plan what you will order ahead of time and be the first to order to prevent yourself from being influenced by other’s choices.

When ordering, skip the high calorie soft drink and limit your alcohol intake. Soft drinks can add a significant number of calories to your meal before you even start eating. And we usually don’t eat less to compensate for the calories consumed via a beverage. Alcohol can lower your inhibitions, leading you to order dessert or to make a less than ideal choice. Go for water, unsweetened tea, or a calorie-free beverage instead.

Skip the bread, chips, or anything brought to the table before your meal. Once the bread hits the table, it is difficult to avoid eating it, especially if you are hungry. If the bread is unlimited, then you can really be in trouble and consume a ton of calories before your meal even arrives. Ask the server to not put the bread on the table at all so you can avoid temptation.

As you scan the menu, look for options that have been steamed, broiled, or grilled. Avoid the words fried, crispy, or breaded, as this can mean the food contains a lot of calories. Avoid items that have heavy gravies or cream sauces. Usually, carbohydrate-based foods such as pasta or rice dishes are served in large portions which are very high in calories and can promote overeating. Watch out for the size of the roll or bread on a sandwich, consider ordering your sandwich “open faced” with only half the bread. Many restaurants will serve the sandwich wrapped in lettuce instead of with bread, which can cut a significant amount of calories, so be sure to ask.

When ordering, be sure to ask a lot of questions. Ask if the food contains any special sauce that may be high in calories. Or you can also ask more detailed questions about how the food is prepared. Ask for any high carbohydrate side dishes, such as French fries or bread to be substituted for a vegetable to cut back on calories. Many restaurants will make substitutions for a small fee. You may also want to start your meal with a broth-based soup or salad. This can help you feel full and may cause you to eat less once the meal comes. Or before your meal comes, ask your server to box half of it up for you to take home. Or share an entrée with a friend!

Lastly, be aware that regardless of how prepared you are at restaurants, you can never be 100% sure of what exact ingredients are in the food. Take this into account by increasing your physical activity on days you eat out to compensate for the calories eaten. Overall, you can eat healthfully and eat out with just a little bit of planning ahead.

Tips & Tricks Blog

The Importance of Water

  The body is made up of 50-75% water. Water is required for most body functions such as regulating body temperature, removal of waste products from cells, keeping the bloodstream...

Published on : Oct 19, 2021

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is important in helping you lose weight and maintaining good health. In 2011, a study in “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” found that when participants slept for less than...

Published on : Oct 19, 2021

5 Tips To Wake Up Early!

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” ~ Ben Franklin Getting to bed earlier will allow you to get the sleep you need...

Published on : Oct 19, 2021

Multivitamins: Do you really need one?

  Julie Masci, Dietitian  A multivitamin is one of the most common dietary supplements used by many people. It is believed that a daily vitamin can make up for any...

Published on : Oct 19, 2021

Why You Should Eat Cheese, Wine & Chocolate

Most of the time when you’re reaching for a square of chocolate or glass of wine you start to feel guilty before you’ve even finished enjoying it. But new research...

Published on : Oct 19, 2021

Top Hydrating Foods

 Your body is made up of 50-75% water. Water is required for most body functions from regulating body temperature to carrying oxygen to the cells. As you prepare for Summer,...

Published on : Oct 19, 2021

Top 5 Diet Myths Debunked

  1. Cut out Carbs Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy and the macronutrient that we need in the largest amounts. Your central nervous system, kidneys, brain and muscles...

Published on : Oct 19, 2021

Protein Shakes: Should You Drink Them

 These days it seems like there are hundreds of protein shakes and nutritional drinks available on the market, made from a variety of different types of protein in a variety...

Published on : Oct 19, 2021

Eating out without the guilt

 By TAPfit Dietician, Julie Masci. Eating out is becoming a bigger and bigger part of our everyday lives. Many people eat out at least once a day and some eat...

Published on : Oct 19, 2021

7 Reasons To Drink Mulled Wine This Christmas!

Avoid the fat and sugar contained in many Christmas favourites and opt for delicious, fat-free and heart-healthy mulled wine! Here are 7 reasons why mulled wine is the perfect holiday...

Published on : Oct 19, 2021

RECIPE: Mediterranean-style Fish Dinner

  A sneak peak from our 14 day TAPfit Trimmer program! Try this delicious Mediterranean Style Baked Fish from our TAPfit Dietitian, Julie! Low in calories, high in protein &...

Published on : Oct 19, 2021

5 Super Easy Dinners That Won’t Bore You To Tears!

Seared Scallops with lemon Juice & Sage 2 tsp canola oil 3 oz (85g) sea scallops 2 tsp lemon juice 1/2 tsp ground sage 1 1/2 cups cubed roasted acorn squash...

Published on : Oct 19, 2021

How to Reduce Cravings

Nutrition HOW TO REDUCE CRAVINGS It is estimated that 97% of women and 68% of men battle with food cravings, especially for foods high in sugar, fat, or carbohydrates. Meaning...

Published on : Oct 19, 2021

How to Set Goals and Stay Motivated

Lifestyle HOW TO SET GOALS & STAY MOTIVATED If you have a large number of lifestyle changes you need to make or a large amount of weight you need to...

Published on : Oct 19, 2021

Hidden Sugar

Nutrition HIDDEN SUGAR Do you ever have an unstoppable craving for cookies, candy, or anything sweet? Do you eat sweet things that are in front of you even when you...

Published on : Oct 19, 2021

Brain Bootcamp

With increases in modern technology, we are expected to live longer than ever before. However, the longer we live, the more likely we are to develop age related illnesses such...

Published on : Oct 18, 2021

Alcohol & Weight Loss

TAPfit Dietician Julie Masci explains that even though wine may contain some beneficial properties, drinking too much can increase your blood pressure, cause liver damage, and may be linked to...

Published on : Oct 17, 2021

Your Cart