DINE OUT AND BE HEALTHY
(50PlusPrime) SOUTHFIELD, MICHIGAN --Happy New Year! Now is the time to get rid of those extra pounds added during the Christmas season, or to just start eating healthy. Many consider restaurant eating difficult in order to maintain this New Years Resolution.
Restaurant eating is fun. It is a place where friends meet to share and enjoy each other’s company, but many times portion sizes are large and there are many hidden calories. Lets review some rules to follow that will allow you to eat out and still maintain the healthy eating plan of your New Years resolution.
1. Eat Simply. Avoid foods that are “sautéed,” “fried”, “crispy”, “creamed or in a cream sauce,” “in a gravy,” “a gratin or in a cheese sauce,” “escalloped” “marinated in oil,” “casserole,” “prime,” “hash,” or “pot pie.” You can request sauces such as Béarnaise and Hollandaise be served on the side for “just a taste.”
2. Better cooking choices include: Foods that are broiled, baked, roasted, “in its own juice,” poached or steamed. They have less hidden calories. You can ask to have your selection “dry broiled.” Lemon juice or wine can provide flavoring.
3. Limit Portion Size. Cut the portion of meat and starch in half. You can have two meals for the price of one. Either share with a friend or take it home for the next day. In both cases you win.
4. Include the Vegetables. They can be just steamed as a side dish or be a large part of the main course. Examples can include stir-fry, broth based soups, vegetables in a marinara sauce, ratatouille, jambalaya, shish kabobs, Creoles and fajitas with the salsa but without the sour cream or cheese. Breaded and fried zucchini, onion rings or other vegetables result in a very high calorie but relatively low nutrient vegetable serving. Not a healthy choice.
5. Protein foods. Chicken, turkey breast and fish are your best choices. Veal or a lean serving of beef or pork are good choices. Limit portion size to 3-4 ounces.
6. Breads and Rolls. If you are really hungry you can eat the whole basket of rolls before the meal. Ask to have these served with the meal.
7. Do not fast before dining out. You will be so totally hungry that reason does not always prevail and you will overeat.
8. Fast Foods. Most places have a grilled chicken with or without a bun, and many have salads and/or soups. (Avoid high calorie dressings, sauces and cream soups.) If you must have a hamburger, the plain, small burger is the best choice.
9. Ask, don’t assume. Unless requested, most sandwiches come with a buttered bun. Ask that it not be buttered and then look to see that your request is honored. Insist on having all sauces or additions to your food served on the side. In this way you can decide how much or if it is to be added at all. Be a picky eater, it is for your health.
10. How about Beverages. Alcohol adds calories. If you do drink a cocktail you’ll want to have your liquor mixed with water, low-calorie soda or seltzer. . One glass of wine mixed with a seltzer is a good choice. Presweetened mixes are a disaster for any reduced calorie-eating plan. Non-alcoholic alternatives can include a fruit juice mixed with seltzer or a glass of tomato juice. Sparkling water with lemon is actually the best as it is refreshing, calorie free and low in sodium. Diet pop is also an option.
11. Deserts. Fresh fruit is the best for health and calories. Next best would be fruit ices, frozen yogurts or sherbet in moderation. Restaurant serving sizes are too much—share with a friend.
Healthy, lower calorie eating is about choices, not isolation. Enjoy your friends and eat out but learn to pick the better choices for life.
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