These are three of my favorite oxymorons. You know, when you put two words together meaning the opposite of each other. Here’s another…Healthy Restaurant. OK maybe I’m being a little dramatic but eating out can be tricky if you want to lose weight and not gain it.
Here’s the scoop, research shows on average if you eat out once a week you’ll gain two pounds a year. That means eating out three times a week could plump you up six pounds a year. Over a six-year period that’s 30 pounds!
Although it’s possible to eat healthy away from home, studies have shown that the foods we select when we eat out generally have more calories, fat and saturated fat than at-home meals and snacks.
I don’t eat out that often but when I do, my three favorite restaurants are Chipotle, Fadi’s Mediterranean Grill and Cheesecake Factory. Even though Chipotle touts serving “real food” the truth is your scale can easily travel in the wrong direction if you are not paying attention.
Here’s three ways to play it clever when you eat out.
- Split a portion. Over the holidays, my wife and I ate at Cheesecake Factory. They have a reputation for ginormous portions. We ordered the Santa Fe Salad. It’s a huge salad and was just right for the two of us.
- Rob Peter to pay Paul. When one of my coworkers eats out she knows she’ll be eating a lot of calories so she’ll skip a meal. So if she is eating out for lunch she’ll skip supper that night or just have a piece of fruit. She calls it playing the numbers game. It works for her.
- Eat more fiber-rich foods. You knew I couldn’t pass this up tip up. Foods naturally rich in fiber and water are almost always lower calorie foods. That means you can eat a satisfying amount of food and still stay friends with your scale.
Even though “healthy restaurant” is an oxymoron you can tilt the scale in your favor by playing it smart when dining out.
How about you? How do you navigate the restaurant scene and keep your weight whistling a happy tune?