10 Tricks for Going Out to Eat Guilt-Free
Going out to eat may be intimidating, especially for individuals who are used to preparing their own foods. Whether you are going out to eat for the social experience, or you need a break from preparing your own food, here are 10 tricks that won’t have you leaving the restaurant feeling guilty and wanting to use it as your cheat meal.
A lot of chain restaurants are luckily in the MyFitnessPal app! Just make sure, as always, that the foods in the app have macros tracked, not just calories. Also, make sure that the macro numbers somewhat make sense. For example, if the food contains cheese, and the app says the food has 0g of fat, something is not right. Tracking in advance will help you make mindful choices, and not have you leaving the restaurant wishing that your pasta dish didn’t make you double your carbohydrate goal for the day.
Like I said, a main factor in going out to eat is not always the food, but in many cases, the social aspect. If you don’t want to overindulge, have something filling before you get there, such as a protein shake. This is a great way to boost your protein, while also increasing satiety, which will make it easier to make mindful choices.
Besides the fact that you should be drinking at least 64 oz of water daily and staying hydrated, this is also another way to make you fuller before you order.
Realistically, restaurants do not measure out the correct serving size of dressing on your salad. A great way to see exactly how much dressing you are consuming is to get it on the side. You can either dip your fork or pour it on after. Either way, this allows you to see exactly how much you are consuming. Also try to order light dressings if possible, to save some extra fat.
Eating more slowly is better for digestion, weight loss/maintenance, better hydration, and better enjoyment of what you are eating. If you are used to preparing a lot of your meals, might as well really enjoy the ones that you don’t!
It is perfectly fine to get a glass of wine with your dinner! Just keep in mind that there are 7 calories per gram of alcohol. Also keep in mind the average glass of wine is 5oz and the average beer is 12oz, but many restaurants offer more.
If you have not worked in a restaurant before and seen behind the scenes of how food is prepared, you may be surprised to see how much butter or salt is added for extra flavor. Ask your server to have the food prepared without any extra flavoring that is not accounted for.
Fat is probably the most difficult macronutrient range to stay within considering there are 9 calories per gram of fat. Be mindful with the foods you choose. Tracking in advance will help you do so.
The more food you have in front of you, the more you may want to consume. Ordering an appetizer as your meal, splitting an entrée with a friend, or boxing half your food up before you even start eating will allow you to finish what is on your plate without feeling guilty. This also goes back to idea of not coming to the restaurant starving, and listening to your body when you are full.
If you would like to work with one our nutritionists contact us through our website or call 732-462-LEAN(5326)
Written By: Kristin Mason BS Nutrition and Dietetics