Have business lunches and dinners caused you to gain 5, 10 or even 20 pounds? You might be working out every day but all your hard work can be sabotaged by making the wrong food choices while dining out. Use these simple tips to cut calories and keep your waistline in check.
- How you order your food. Simple and plain is best. Stay away from anything that is fried, sautéed or stuffed. Instead, order your food grilled, baked, steamed, poached or smoked. This includes your meat and your vegetables. Ask to order your vegetables steamed without butter and your meats without sauces.
- Choosing your meats. Fish is a great choice as long as it isn’t fried or battered. Ask to have it grilled or baked with no butter. When ordering chicken, white and skinless poultry is best. Darker meat like chicken thighs or drumsticks is higher in fat. When ordering steak, ask for leaner cuts like beef filet, over prime rib which is higher in fat. Stay away from bacon, salami, hot dogs and ham.
- Ordering carbohydrates. A great side choice is a plain baked potato with no butter or sour cream. If you need flavor to your potato, ask for a side of salsa to spice up your potato. Another healthy choice is a plain, baked yam or green beans, asparagus or broccoli.
- Salads are best. Grilled chicken breast salads are an excellent choice. When ordering any salad always ask for the dressing on the side. Salads can add up in calories when they are soaked in heavy salad dressing. Order the dressing on the side and ask for their lighter version, fat free or balsamic vinaigrette.
- Your eyes are bigger than your stomach. Don’t over consume and order too much food. When we are hungry we tend to order way too much food and over eat. This simply packs on the pounds and fat storage. Chew your food slowly because there is a time lag of about 20 minutes before your brain registers that your stomach is full.
- Drink lots of water with your meals. Water helps to fill you up faster so you feel full and won’t eat as much. Always aim to drink at least 2 to 3 cups of water with your meals.
- Pass on regular sodas and fruity cocktails. The calories can really add up from drinking the wrong beverages. Load up on herbal teas and water while you are waiting for your food to arrive. Green tea is an excellent choice.
- Have your burger made your way. It is ok to indulgence in a burger every once in a while. Exchange the bun for a lettuce wrap and stay away from any added sauces. Order the burger plain and spice it up with some lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, ketchup and mustard.
- Avoid the bread basket. If you chose to order an appetizer, order a plain garden salad with dressing on the side. Most bread baskets are loaded with butter, cheese or sauces which will add tons of calories before your meal comes.
- Ordering dessert. If you must indulge in dessert be aware that a piece of cheesecake or brownie fudge sundae can pack on another 1,000 calories. If you must have dessert, share one dessert for the whole table and take a few bites and push the rest away. You are always safe by ordering a fruit platter for dessert or a cappuccino made with non fat milk.
Learning to make healthy choices when eating out is the key to maintaining a healthy and fit body. You have one life and one body and the longest relationship you will ever have is the one with your body.
Jodi Tiahrt is a fitness model and competitor who as competed in over 40 fitness,figure, bikini, and sports model competitions with 36 first placetitles. She is also a certified personal trainer, nutritionist, pilatesinsturctor and fitness pole dance instructor with Bachelors of Science Degree in biology (Pre Med) with minors in chemistry and health science.