Order vegetables. And be mindful of the amounts you eat.
A report by the USDA Economic Research Service, (report number 90) found that eating one meal away from home a week worsens the quality of the diet and increases calorie intake. And depending on which meal you eat out (breakfast, lunch, or dinner), you will eat less fruits, vegetables, whole grains, or dairy, or more fat or saturated fat.
For the average consumer, eating one meal away from home each week translates to roughly 2 extra pounds each year. Although it is possible to incorporate [food away from home] into a healthy diet, for the average adult, one additional meal eaten away from home increases daily intake by about 134 calories.
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During the holiday season, I read an article saying that holiday weight gain is exaggerated (less than 2 pounds), and that overeating during weekends does more harm.
Overeating at restaurants once a week also seems a plausible cause of slow, long-term, silent weight gain.
However, it’s impossible to never eat out. There’s something fun about eating out: changing the routine, getting together with friends, or eating things difficult to make at home. It’s not just merely the convenience, or the lack of time or skills to make food at home. It’s a lifestyle too.
The report didn’t make a recommendation against eating out. It simply stated the facts. Knowledge is power. If you are concerned about where the weight came from the past 10 years, this might be the answer.
Tips to Eat Healthier When Dining out
- Even if you only eat out once a week, you still need to choose carefully. Be mindful and select something that sounds satisfying to the taste buds, but stop when not hungry anymore–even if you don’t finish my whole plate
- Order a meal that revolves around vegetables and fruits, instead of pastas or breads.
- -Ask for vegetables to be cooked without butter. Ask for proteins to not get finished or drizzled with butter
- Order whole grains whenever possible
- Skip soda, juice, and alchol, and stick to water or carbonated water
- Balance out those extra 134 calories with lighter meals that dayand a good walk
You might like to read: “Heading for the Open Buffet? 6 Strategies to Take Charge”