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Top 7 Tips to Lose Weight While While Eating Out
By Kathryn Martyn
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When I eat out I want it to be special. It's not likely I'm going to order a spartan meal, so I just eat out infrequently. Many people can't do this though. Some eat lunch out every day. Many order take-out most nights or eat at fast food places often. Unless you're able to pay restaurant prices for plain food, you're not likely to start ordering the "fruit plate" instead of a burger and fries. How then to solve the dilemma of too many calories when you eat out?
Here are 7 painless ways to get the calories out of those restaurant meals and still eat your favorites.
- Just say NO to super sizing. The size you ordered is already too big. Stop super sizing and you'll save money. Better still, order one dinner and ask for an extra plate. Many restaurants will do this for a dollar or two, and it's well worth it. Then share the meal with your friend and you split the cost straight down the middle. Another option is to order from the so called "appetizer" menu. Two people could order three entrees and one dessert and split the whole thing and it's still a ton of food!
- Skip the bread and rolls served with most meals. Most family restaurants still serve a bread basket with your meal. Unless it's a fresh baked loaf or some really special bread, just skip it. You don't need to fill up on ordinary bread when you're paying good money for a meal. Just ask for it to be taken away if you can't resist, but frankly, you're an adult, you can resist, if you want to. You can simply choose not to put a roll on your plate. Try it, just once and see if you don't walk out of that restaurant feeling strangely powerful.
If you can't skip the rolls, at least skip the butter. That's right. Eat it plain. Whole grain bread is delicious all by itself.
- Stop ordering drinks with your meals. Soft drinks are a huge cash cow for restaurants. For pennies they sell you a squirt of syrup and carbonated water and act like they're doing you a big favor by only charging you $1.29 for a giant 64 ounce soda. Start saving those dollars. Especially if you're ordering "to go" skip the drink. If you're eating it there, ask for water, or at least switch to diet drinks. Never drink "fat pop."
- Slow down you eat too fast! What's the rush? Take your time, savor the moment, enjoy the flavors. A big part of getting in touch with your hunger signals and learning to eat what really will satisfy is learning to recognize the subtle signs of hunger. You won't know when you're approaching satisfaction if you've gobbled everything down in five minutes. Take a bite then notice how many times do you chew before you start wanting to swallow? Once, twice? Make an effort to chew your food and your body will be much happier. A very large part of digestion begins in your mouth, not to mention you'll get much more pleasure if you let the food linger.
- Trim visible fat and skin. I know, you really love the skin--of course you do, it tastes good, it should, it's pure fat. Do you want to get leaner, or do you want to eat fat? You choose. I never eat chicken skin and never eat the visible fat hanging off a steak, good taste or no. You have to decide what you want more, the second's worth of pleasure of a yummy taste, or a lifetime of carrying around an extra 40 lbs? I know this is counter to the low carb crowd's belief that fat is good, carbs are evil, but I've maintained an 80 pound weight loss for 18 years without dieting and I don't eat visible fat or skin. Enough said.
- Ask for a doggie bag at the beginning of the meal. When the food is served, immediately portion off some to take home for tomorrow. Most restaurants in the US serve way too much. There is no law you have to eat it all. Do this frequently and soon you'll find you're getting an extra lunch out of that meal.
- Get a copy of Restaurant Confidential by Michael F. Jacobson and Jayne Hurley, and start checking out how many calories you're really eating. If you eat out frequently and you carry extra weight, then that's probably the problem right there. This little book can help you realize why it seems you don't eat that much yet you can't lose any weight. Hardees recently introduced a new burger that clocks in at just under 1200 calories all by itself! Now that's frightening.
~~ Kathryn Martyn, Master NLP Practitioner, EFT counselor, author of Changing Beliefs, Your First Step to Permanent Weight Loss, and owner of OneMoreBite-Weightloss.com lost 80 pounds over 17 years ago. She maintains her weight using the techniques she teaches in her 8-week Ending Emotional Eating online weight loss program, private coaching practice and her popular workshops.
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Article Submitted On: April 11, 2005