The Best Weight Loss Rules to Follow When Dining Out

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1- Know What You’re Ordering Beforehand

One of the best things you can do before heading out to a restaurant is to take a look at their menu beforehand. Most restaurants have an online menu for pickup and delivery orders so take advantage. Some restaurants may even have nutrition information available including fat, salt and calorie content so make sure to do your online research before you head out.

2- Fill up on Snacks Before You Eat Out

preview-full-shutterstock_394775977If you don’t feel like doing some research beforehand, or if you simply don’t trust yourself, fill up on snacks before you dine out. Have something healthy like a trail mix, apples with peanut butter or some other high protein snack to hold you over.

Studies show that if you go out to dinner on an empty stomach, you are less likely to order in moderation and tend to just gorge on food. Reduce the amount of calories you eat during dinner by grabbing a quick light snack before you do.

When it comes to restaurants just one meal can make or break your diet as far as calories are concerned for the day, so it is extremely important to choose the right foods. Showing up with some food in your belly will help you do so.

3- Stick to a Paleo Diet When Dining Out

The worst foods that we can eat while dining out are the ones that are rich in calories, but devoid in other nutrients. These foods give us energy but since they lack other nutrients they still leave us feeling empty, causing us to go back for seconds and thirds.

When eating out, avoid carbohydrates whenever possible, try to make your meal consist of mainly vegetables and lean proteins.

Refined carbohydrates like the ones found in many breads, pastas, rice and other food items are the ones we want to avoid the most because they tend to lead to weight gain. On top of that these food items are relatively cheap compared to proteins and vegetables, so most dishes you get from restaurants are going to consist mainly of these cheap ingredients.

4- How the Food Is Prepared Makes a Huge Difference

preview-full-shutterstock_282446912The way in which the food is prepared is another huge factor that you should be aware of. Food preparation can mean the difference between a healthy dish and a very unhealthy one. One easy example of this is chicken breast.

Grilled chicken breast is extremely healthy as it is high in protein, and very low in fat. Conversely if you took that same piece of chicken and fried it in oil you turn a healthy meal low in fat in to an unhealthy meal high in fat.

Generally speaking you want to stick to cooking methods like grilling, broiling, poaching, smoked, or steamed. Stay away from deep fried foods, or ones that are battered or coated.

5- Choose the Right Appetizers to Reduce Caloric Intake and Lose Weight

Another issue many people have when it comes to eating at restaurants is the appetizers. Most restaurants have three main appetizers, breads, soups and salads. Most people know by know that breads served at restaurants normally are of the refined variety, and have little nutritional value outside of the calories that they provide.

Most people think that soups are a relatively healthy option when in most cases they aren’t. Soups more often than not are loaded with salt, cream and butter to give it the best flavor and texture possible.

The best option out of the three is salad, by far and away. Salads can be a very healthy side dish or appetizer if the proper ingredients are chosen.

Stay away from chef salads and any other types that have deli meats or fried chicken added. Stick to dark leafy greens, dried fruits and nut or seeds to round off your salad. When it comes to dressing, stick to oil and vinegar if possible, and avoid blue cheese, ranch and other high fat, high caloric dressings.

6- Stick to Water When Possible and Avoid Sugary Drinks at All Costs

One of the easiest ways to pack on additional calories is to drink them. Meals take a lot longer to consume than drinks which can also really upset your blood sugar levels, which could potentially lead to even more weight gain.

Make sure to stick to water when eating out, it can really help you reduce how many calories you are consuming.