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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Things You Should Know Thursday: Dining Out

Eating meals out can make staying with your healthy routine complicated. So many temptations, hidden calories and out of whack portion sizes. Check out this advice from Mark's Daily Apple on how to stay on track.
Avoid eating out.  I’m kind of kidding, but it goes without saying that eating out at chain restaurants on a regular basis probably isn’t a good idea. 

Lobby for restaurant-picking powers.  If you’re deigning to eat out, the least your companions can do is let you pick the place.  Pro-tip: don’t use the word “deign” when trying to pick the restaurant.

Be a super modern forager.  Scan the menu for anything that might work.  If you’re eating Mexican, get the fajitas and lose the rice, beans, and tortillas while upping the veggies, meat, and guacamole. 

Make special requests.  Yep, you’re gonna have to be “that guy” who customizes his order so much that the final product is completely unrecognizable form the original.  Expect eye rolls and audible sighs, but those are a small price to pay for eating right.   

Remember the 80/20 principle.  Think of this as your “20.”  As long as you’ve been eating and exercising right consistently, one random meal isn’t going to throw you off.  Besides, you’ll probably wake up regretting it and will be even more strict with the food and the workouts.

Make substitutions.  All restaurants have vegetables.  Most of them will be happy to swap out the starchy foods like rice, bread, or potatoes for steamed or grilled veggies. 

Get stuff on the side.  For sauces and dressings of indeterminate origin, ask for them on the side.  That way you can control their distribution rather than letting the cook slather your food with it.

 My 2 cents?? Plan ahead, grocery shop using a list of ingredients for meals and prep them on the weekend. You will be more successful if you do the majority of your eating at home.

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