9 tips for eating out9 tips for eating out9 tips for eating out

9 tips for eating out

9 tips for eating out

Eating out, whether that be at a restaurant or at a friend or family member's house should be enjoyed. Such social events bring people together and social interactions are incredibly valuable to our overall well being. So when you diet it does not mean you cannot eat out, you just need to enter that meal with somewhat of a plan. 

That being said, eating out is actually associated with overconsumption of calories. So if you eat out regularly (multiple times per week) it is likely these meals can hinder your progress in weight loss. Restaurant meals are typically higher in calories, owing to larger serving sizes or greater use of fat for cooking, or both. Furthermore, the chances are you will order an entree and dessert, and consume a calorific drink or more during the meal.

Here are some quick hints and tips on how to overcome the potential obstacles associated with eating out:

  1. Recommended portion sizes

Within the Reverse Health coaching course we outline the recommended serving sizes for protein rich foods, carbohydrate rich foods and fruit, vegetables and healthy fats. Protein should be around a hand sized serving, while carbs should be a fist sized serving and vegetables, fruit and healthy fats should make up the remaining space on your plate, creating a rainbow of color. 

So practically speaking that could be a nice piece of fish (protein) making up most of the plate, with some rice, pasta or potatoes (carbs) making up a fist sized serving and then the remaining space can be made up of various vegetables or salads with some olive oil. Accompanied by water or sparkling water of course. 

  1. Plan ahead

If possible, assess the restaurant’s menu ahead of time and make a suitable selection before you arrive. If you are not familiar with the menu before you arrive you may get distracted and more likely to make a poor decision. Furthermore, the sight and smell of food can make it difficult to stay on track. So commit to a meal ahead of your arrival and stick to that plan. 

Also, it maybe that the restaurant you are going to does not have any suitable options for you eg. only pizzas. So if you can only select a higher calorie option then you can adjust your meals earlier in the day to allow room for the pizza that night. This is often referred to as ‘banking’ calories. Simply put you just eat less at breakfast and lunch, to make room for the bigger meal in the evening. But planning ahead is always important. 

  1. Have a high protein snack before the meal

Turning up hungry to a restaurant or meal with family or friends is a disaster waiting to happen. The chances are you will make poor decisions, pick on the bread basket and over consume calories. Simply adding a high protein snack before you go to the meal can prevent this from occurring in the first place. 

How about adding Reverse Health Women’s Whey Protein with almond milk around an hour before the meal? Research has shown that whey protein consumed a few hours before a meal can significantly reduce the amount of calories consumed at that meal by reducing appetite. Sounds like a perfect plan! 

  1. Drink only water

This one should be common sense. But drinking water or sparkling water in place of sugar sweetened beverages or alcoholic beverages can reduce your calorie intake and support your progress toward your weight loss goals. In fact, research has shown that people who drank 500 ml of water before and during a meal ate fewer calories and lost 44% more weight than people that did not, because the water also filled them up!

  1. Fill up on fiber and protein

Building your meal around foods that are rich in protein and fiber is a great way to fill yourself up and prevent overconsumption of calories. The less ideal choice is a big pasta dish with creamy sauce and no veggies or protein (high carbs, high calories, low fiber and low protein). Simply subbing the creamy sauce for a lower calorie tomato sauce, adding some chicken or shrimp (protein) and some veggies (fibre) can help you here. 

  1. Slow down and enjoy

Taking time to chew your food properly and eating slowly can improve the signals between your stomach and brain, so you feel fuller faster, ultimately meaning you eat less. To do this place your knife and fork down between each mouthful and take time to chew and enjoy. Chewing more will also improve digestion and absorption of nutrients, so your health will benefit too.

  1. Be smart with sauces 

A healthy meal can be a lot less healthy by a sneaky sauce. Smart sauce choices are very important. Generally speaking, if possible, get the sauces in a side dish and tip them on yourself or use the sauce as a dipping sauce. Where possible also opt for tomato based sauces rather than high fat, high calorie creamy sauces. 

  1. Avoid buffets

Buffet restaurants are quite literally the nemesis of all diets. Avoid them at all costs.If you absolutely have to eat at a buffet then use a small plate and allow yourself only two trips to select foods. Building meals around protein and vegetables, with fruit as a dessert. Drinking water again.

  1. Make the main course the main course

Adding an entree and dessert will easily add 500 - 1000 calories to your meal. Avoiding these and opting for the main course only is the super simple way to stay on track. 

Weight Loss