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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Do's and Don'ts on Eating Out!

Hubby and I are really trying hard to lose weight and stay healthy. Based on our personal experienced being overweight is not good for our health, that is why we both have to take high blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol medicines. We also walk at least three times a week for 45 minutes. Since we dine out at least once a week, we try to stick to these tips in order to enjoy good meals while losing weight and at the same time without worries on how much we would be spending each time.

1. Set a budget
Determine how much you're willing to eat before looking at the menu. You can give yourself some leeway by scheduling some exercise on or near days you plan to eat out. Putting in gym time or going for a brisk walk will help offset a little extra eating. And remember, be flexible. You can loosen up a bit on special occasions, as long as you eat carefully most of the time. (Just don't let every day become a special occasion.)

2. Put on your game face
Decide on some guidelines before you go to a restaurant, and stick to them. For instance:

~~ Skip the all-inclusive (prix fixe) menu and opt for à la carte selections. Doing so might not be as economical, but you'll probably eat less.

~~ Take one piece of bread, then ask your server to remove the breadbasket from the table.

3. Make special requests
You're paying good money for that meal, so you're entitled to make special requests or slight modifications. Why not say:

~~ Can I have that without butter? Grilled? With the sauce on the side?

~~ I'd like mixed greens instead of fries with my sandwich.

4. Practice portion control
Some restaurant portions can be two, three, even four times the "normal" size — especially super-sized fast food meals. Keep your portions in check by:

~~ Ordering a salad as a starter and then splitting a main entrée with a friend.

~~ Creating your own scaled-down meal from a couple of appetizers and/or side dishes.

5. Break down (language) barriers
If you don't know what a preparation term means, ask. In general, though, the following words translate into high-fat, high-calorie dishes.

~~ Au gratin, scalloped, hollandaise.

~~ Parmigiana, scampi, Bolognese.

6. Downsize the super-size
Super-sized fast food meal options can be loaded with calories. Either:

~~ Order something small, like a basic burger. After all, the first bite tastes the same as the last.

~~ Order yourself a children's meal.

7. Watch out for extras
The average burger with ketchup, lettuce and tomato isn't so bad. But one with "the works" is usually a caloric nightmare. Skip:

~~ Bacon, cheese and mayonnaise.

~~ Double-burger patties and extra pieces of bread.

8. Don't go top heavy
Salad bars and garden salads grace menus across the country. But those extra toppings can sabotage your seemingly diet-conscious choices:

~~ Go light on croutons, grated cheese and bacon.

~~ Opt for small amounts of low-fat or nonfat dressings on the side.

9. Don't drink away your progress
~~ A drink with dinner is fine, but too many margaritas may wreak havoc on your dieting resolve. Keep your appetite under control by:

~~ Alternating alcoholic beverages with noncaloric sodas or sparkling water.

~~ Not drinking alcoholic beverages on an empty stomach.

10. Resign from the "clean plate club"
You paid for it so you have to eat it, right? Wrong. Just think of the health and emotional costs of those extra calories on your body. Downsize by:

~~ Eating half the meal and doggie-bagging the rest.

~~ Pushing your plate away when you're full.

~~ And remember to eat slowly. It takes 20 minutes for your body to recognize that it's full.


  1. We dont eat out anymore but we order out. kaya nga minsan kakainis kasi i want to eat out but hubby sobrang tihik.

  2. nagtipid man siguro siya sa gasolina, Tsang :-); sige lang basi sunod mag dine out na sad mo :-); musta weekend nyo, tsang?

  3. di na muna kami kakain sa labas ate, tipid heheheh

  4. that is a good way to save, Rose; sa amin di pwede eh, kasi tong dalawa di makatiis di kumain sa Braums or McDonalds for burger :-), kung ako lan walang problema, i eat whatever is in the fridge, LO okay lang :-).

  5. great tips teCes....kami pod wala naman me mag dine out...ayha ra pag naa occasions...ehehhee....take out lang amo usahay...nya pag mag dine out hatag pa tip...agoy gansi ta...ehehehe...joke!