Eating out is always a burden to your diet. Even healthy items that seem ok to eat actually aren’t. But just because I am watching my weight does not mean I am willing to give up my lifestyle of eating out. I love to eat out. Getting served your food and being waited on while getting to spend quality time with someone is worth it. But choosing one food compared to another can save you 1000 calories sometimes.
Here is what I do: PLAN AHEAD! Simple as that. If you plan where you are going to eat and what you are going to order, it is much easier to stay on track. You are less tempted to order other things if you dont even look at the menu. If you do order something else, you have more guilt in breaking your diet plan because you pre-planned your meal. Many of us, including myself, see eating out as a treat. And as a treat many diet rules are thrown out because a treat is something that happens not that often. But the problem today is that most people eat out a lot more than the definition of a treat would allow. Yet many still order like its a treat, fully loaded.
Most restaurants now have the calorie counts right next to the menu item. This is one thing working for you incase you did not pre plan. But knowing how many calories came from fat and how much saturated fat in food is something that you must pre-plan. If it’s a chain restaurant, your chances of seeing all their nutritional information online is high. I like to use books because they are so much easier. I have been on many many diets and have dining out guides from Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and even non exclusive diet books such as Eat This Not That. These are an easy way to choose your food before going out. Eat This Not That is personally my favorite because it compares side by side what the nutrition information is of the food item you probably wanted to order right next to the one you should order. The comparison is disgusting and i doubt after seeing it you will order your origional craving.
Some highlights and common mistakes people make are:
- The Burger King Whopper 670 calories and 40g fat vs. the Whopper Jr. w/o mayo AND the 4 piece Crown Shaped chicken tenders for 440 calories and 22g fat. Wouldn’t you rather eat more food for less?
- Cheesecake Factory’s Grilled Turkey Burger for 1,331 calories and 31g of saturated fat or you can eat The Factory Burger for 737 calories and 15g saturated fat. Who says turkey is healthier?
- On The Border‘s Sizzling Fajita Chicken Salad for 940 calories and 69g of fat or you can eat the Chicken Al Carbon Fajitas with tortillas, guac, and pico de gallo for 390 calories and 14.5g of fat.
Obviously things aren’t as they seem in the food world. So read those nutrition guides! If you don’t want to buy them, look online! If you picked a restaurant out on a whim, ask for the nutritional information. It can be the difference between a weight loss and a weight gain. And remember, you also don’t have to eat everything on your plate too.