Eating out is one of the most pleasurable things you can do because you get to eat tasty food without troubling yourself of too much food preparation, and clean up afterwards. You only need to bring along enough cash to pay for what you are going to eat.
However, if you are not careful in your menu choices at the restaurant, you can turn this enjoyable occasion into a dangerous incursion on your health. We all know that most delicious foods contain too much grease, over-abundance of calories, and excessive amounts of sodium which is bad for our health.
You must always keep in mind, especially when eating out, the dietary limits issued by the US Department of Agriculture. They have issued this advice to protect the health of US citizens. The USDA recommends that the maximum amount of calories you can safely take per day is about 2,000. They also advice you not to take more than 17 grams of saturated fat, 65 grams of fat, and no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium each day.
With all these figures in mind, you can now safely venture outside of your door and get to a restaurant that offers foodstuff that does not go over the limits prescribed by the USDA. This is the first and most important measure you can take to stay healthy when dining out.
The best thing you can do before you eating out is to search the internet for restaurants that publishes the nutritional values of their meals. Most of the well-known restaurants do this to attract health conscious customers. You can try searching for the menus and the nutritional values of restaurants like Golden Corral or Romano’s Macaroni Grill. Their official websites have plenty of information on this regard.
According to the National Restaurant Association, the average American family eats out about five times a week. Generally, meals taken in restaurants have higher calories than what is cooked at home. In other words, eating out in a restaurant, of any kind, increases an adult’s average daily calorie intake. The USDA says that the increase is about 135 calories. To cut the chase, you can therefore stay healthy if you will not eat out more often than you need to. Perhaps the most would be once a week and certainly not every day.
Fried foods are also very notorious as fat enhancers. Therefore, if you are eating out, it would be wiser to order your chicken or meat grilled, and not fried. This will reduce their fat content, and thus, reduce your chances of adding unwanted weight.
Another key to healthy eating out is to order first. In other words, don’t let others influence you to order foodstuffs that you know will endanger your health. This takes some personal resolve to do. But if you really want to eat healthy, you need to order what you think is best for your health, and not just to please your friends or office mates.
When eating out, you need to assert yourself when you see that the menu is not up to your health standard. Don’t be afraid to ask the server to modify the contents of the menu if you see that they are too fatty, or too greasy. Some restaurants add too much grease in their food just to make them taste good.
It also helps to chew your food thoroughly when eating out. This helps you eat slower and when you do, you won’t be able to eat too much. When you eat too fast, you gobble a lot of food, because you are not properly chewing them. As a result, your digestive system is forced to work double time. There are elements in the undigested food that have a tendency to transform into unwanted fats especially if the food you’ve eaten is too laden with fat substances.
Watch out what you are drinking when dining out. Always remember that the drinks we take can also add calories to our diet. For instance, one serving of tea can easily add 200 to 250 calories to your food intake. Certainly, soda drinks can produce more than these amounts. The best thing to do is to drink water with your meals, with occasional glass of wine. Water is filling and it helps us to consume less alcohol.
It is very important to check out the restaurant beforehand. You need to be sure that they are serving high-carbohydrate, low-fat meals, or if not, if they are willing to modify their menu.
Checking the restaurant out will also help you determine how they prepare their dishes. You need to ask them, if possible, if they can make your order without too much fat and less sodium. If they provide great customer care, they should be willing to accommodate your requests.