Top 10 to keep a check while eating out
With Christmas and
new year gearing up its time to party again, it's time again to keep a
watch on what goes into your stomach so that you are left with no regrets.
that the way to be thin and still have some joie with our meals is to adopt a
more traditional, and worldly, way of dining. Moderate portions, fresh whole
foods, relaxing and lingering with family and friends at the table-it's what
they do not just in France, but throughout the Mediterranean, Latin America and
Asia. These are places where
obesity rates have historically been low (at least until the global spread
of fast food and sedentary lifestyles boosted obesity everywhere). This reminds
us that it is possible to eat what you love without feeling guilty, deprived or
going on any restrictive regimen.
is fattening: At parties,
exercise control over alcohol. Drinking is often paired with social occasions
where higher-fat foods are often available. Try to stick with wine. Better
a wine spritzer with half wine and half club soda. You can drink more for
fewer calories with a spritzer. Wine has the lowest calorie content per glass
for alcohol. My personal favorite is champagne. If the calories won't keep you
from drinking more than two glasses, the price will. If you must have the
hard-core stuff-vodka, bourbon, etc.-stick with straight up, rocks or mixed
with water or club soda. If you mix with juices, cola or tonic you are adding
over one hundred calories to the calories already in the liquor. And drinks
like Margaritas, daiquiris, and pina coladas are of full of calories. The
mixes are sugar, sugar and more sugar. If you're going to have wine with
dinner, don't let anyone refill your glass before it's empty. When that
happens you never really know how much you're drinking. Instead, drink
lots of water, seltzer, and unsweetened ice tea. For coffee and tea, use skim
and/or 1% reduced fat milk – and limit the sugar to 1 packet per cup.
Red Flags on the Menu:
As a rule of thumb, choose
grilled, broiled, poached or steamed foods: avoid creamed, buttered, fried
foods, or those with a cheese sauce...and ask to replace fatty French fries
with a baked potato or side vegetable. Also, request your sandwich on whole
wheat bread instead of white, specify brown rice instead of white rice and ask
for salad dressing, gravy, and sauces on the side. These minor adjustments
translate into major calorie savings. . The "Chef's Special" is almost always a
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on Top 10 to keep a check while eating out
with Soup: Choose
tomato-based sauces and soups, instead of cream based soups like vichyssoise
or soups topped with cheese such as French Onion Soup. Clear soup are the
best. A two-year French study of 2,188 men and 2,849 women found that those
who ate soup five to six times a week were more likely to have
BMI's below 23
(considered lean), compared with infrequent- or noneaters whose BMIs tended to
be in the 27 range.
Check the fat:
Request that added fats, such as
salad dressings, sauces, and coconut chutneys be left off or put on the side.
If it's a rich blend, such as blue cheese dressing (90 calories a
tablespoon), use a teaspoon, not a tablespoon, to flavor up.
Healthy fats like olive oil, a staple of the Mediterranean diet, and canola
oil, a staple of Okinawans, make vegetables tastier, so you're likely to eat
more of them. According to data from the Catalan Nutrition Survey done in
Spain, people who ate the most olive oil also consumed more vegetables than
those who consumed the least olive oil. And, as we know, eating a diet rich in
produce is key to maintaining a healthy
weight. In a study of more
than 74,000 female nurses conducted over 12 years, Northwestern and Harvard
University researchers discovered that those who added the most fruits and
vegetables to their diets lowered their risk for major weight gain by 28
acquainted: If you are
going to an ethnic cattery, you should be at least moderately acquainted with
the particular cuisine. If you are not, do ask what menu names or description
mean. Some can be red signals for fat. On a French menu, for instance,
anything prepared remoulade refers to a mayonnaise sauce. In an
Italian restaurant, good appetizers are minestrone soup, Cioppino (seafood
soup), or steamed mussels in a red sauce. Pasta with a vegetable-or tomato-or
wine based sauce is fine, so is pasta-e-fagioli, or spaghetti with marinara. Low-fat Thai
fare includes lemon grass soups; stir-fried noodles and sprouts; lightly
sautéed meats. Avoid the coconut based soups and curries, or deep-fried
offerings like royal tofu and peanut sauce. Pick you way
carefully through a Mexican menu. Gazpacho, grilled meats or seafood, chicken
fajitas, black beans soup, plain corn tortillas with a salsa dip, soft chicken
tacos or beans in a soft tortilla are among the wiser options. In a Chinese
restaurant, whole steamed fish with sauce on the side is good choice. Simple
stir-fries are also fine, except that most Chinese eateries in India use too
much oil in the stir-fries.
Exercise portion control: When
portion choices are available, order half
portions: restaurant serving sizes generally weight down on the side of
excess. Scale back by ordering one to two non-fried appetizers instead of an
entrée – or consider sharing an entrée with a friend. You can also divide your
main course in half and take half home for a future meal.
Think quality, not quantity: The
French snub processed "diet foods" not found in nature, opting instead for
high-quality meats, fish,
produce, dairy, even
When food is fresh and flavorful, you can be satisfied with smaller portions.
This is the opposite of the American approach, which is to fill up on bland
diet foods, then gorge on sweets later.
little goes a long way:
Salt makes you retain water
and bloats you. Most restaurants add too much salt, so resist the temptation
to lift the salt shaker, especially before you taste.
Relax and enjoy: Make your meals
into sociable occasions whenever you can and eat with other people. Do not eat
too fast, just relax and enjoy the occasion.
Finally it's time for dessert:
Don't panic there are two ways to go. Order something sensible like
fruit or sorbet. I
personally like non-fat cappuccino with artificial sweetener. Tastes fattening
but it's not. The key here is to keep it down to one or two – OK – three
bites. Take them slowly and savor them. There, you had that death-by-chocolate
cake taste without adding an inch to the
hips. And don't you
feel better about yourself!
Use non-diet thinking; avoid
the diet mentality.
Diet thinking is irrational and unhealthy: "I better eat as much dessert as
I can now because tomorrow I am going back on my diet," or "I'm full but I'll
still have a piece of cake and ice cream; I will work out extra hard tomorrow to
work it off." Replace these statements with the following healthier ones: "I'll
take a small piece of cake because I really want it. If I don't I will feel
deprived and will most likely binge later." "I really feel full. I would be
eating just to eat. I am so full I probably wouldn't enjoy it anyway. Maybe I
could take a piece home for another day when I would enjoy it more." Non-diet,
healthy people are more selective with their choices, and they pay attention to
their internal signals of hunger. They still eat what they want (being creative
and limiting the extras) and they may eat a little more than usual, but their
regular eating habits prevent
them from unintentionally bingeing or overeating.