Dieting Tips : Sticking to your plan while dining out.

Dieting Tips: Sticking to your plan while dining out.

Going out to dinner tonight? You’ve got plenty of company. Almost 75 percent of us eat at a restaurant at least once a week, and 25 percent dine out every two or three days, according to a study by the USDA. Anyone living the fitness lifestyle knows that preparing food and staying in shape go hand in hand so why not take a break and let someone else cook for you? Here are some dieting tips to help you stick to your plan and keep that bodyfat away!

1. Pick the best protein.

Gotta have a steak? A 10-ounce rib-eye can pack 780 calories or more. Instead, order leaner cuts of beef, such as tenderloin, flank steak, or strip. The recommended serving size is approximately 5 ounces (about the size of the palm of your hand). If the restaurant doesn’t offer one that small, cut your portion in half and take the rest home. (See are article on protein supplementation here)

2. Make healthy swaps.

Choose whole grains such as brown rice or whole-grain bread over refined white bread and rice. Pass up the French fries and the cheese-stuffed potato and order two vegetables, steamed, or a salad and vegetables. Instead of creamy pasta dishes, opt for those with tomato sauces, which are generally lower in fat and calories.

3. Beware of the low-carb options.

Restaurant chains have jumped on the low-carb bandwagon, offering numerous low-carb options on their menu. But low-carb doesn’t mean low-cal. For instance, at Ruby Tuesday the Low-Carb New Orleans Seafood packs 710 calories and 42 grams of fat—ouch! A much better bet—the Low Carb Veggie Platter—leaves you with just 297 calories and 16 grams of fat.

4.  Salads shouldn’t be fatty.

This is a vegetable course, keep it tasty but healthy. That means avoiding anything in a creamy sauce (coleslaw, pasta salads, and potato salads), and skipping the bacon bits and fried noodles. Instead, load up on the raw vegetables, treat yourself to a few well-drained marinated vegetables (artichoke hearts, red peppers, or mushrooms), and for a change, add in some fruit or nuts. Indeed, fruits such as mango, kiwi, cantaloupe, and pear are often the secret ingredient in four-star salads.

5. Order fish.

Just make sure it’s not fried. When the CSPI evaluated food served at seafood chains and independent restaurants, researchers found low-fat and low-sodium options abounded. Plus, you can order seafood so many different ways—steamed, baked, broiled, sautéed, blackened, or grilled. Nix any sauces, or ask for them on the side.

6. Drink water throughout the meal.

It will slow you down, help you enjoy the food more, and let the message get to your brain that you’re full—before your plate is empty.

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