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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Should You Count Calories While Eating Out? Yes, You Should -- Here's 10 Tips

African American Woman Eating Out

Eating out is one of America's favorite past times. In fact, the average American dines out four times a week. This can be a challenge if you are trying to lose or maintain body weight. But this doesn't mean you have to give up restaurants. By making a few wise choices in food selection, you can continue to enjoy dining out without jeopardizing your weight control.

Here are a few simple tips on how to keep the calories under control when eating out:

#1 - Most restaurants serve portions that are too large, and it is easy to rationalize that you need to eat all of it. Instead of wasting food, just order smaller portions. Most all restaurants now include "smaller portion" or "senior citizen" meals which have smaller serving portions than most meals listed on the menu. Smaller portions mean less calories -- as many as 100.

#2 - Speaking of size, changing you menu selection from a 4.5 ounce steak to a smaller 3 ounce steak can cut 100 calories off your meal.

#3 - Eliminate the bread that is customarily served with meals. This can save 100-140 calories.

#4 - If you're eating Chinese, by choosing chicken or shrimp instead of beef for stir fry can eliminate 50-75 calories.

#5 - Always choose grilled meat instead of fried or breaded. It's not only better for you to eliminate the fat but the calories saved can be as much as 100.

#6 - Salads are great; it's the toppings that add calories. Watch the croutons, cheese, eggs and bacon. Instead, choose salads with more vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots. And, of course, choose low-calorie dressings.

#7 - Side dishes are always offered with meals, so make smart choices in this area. Instead of fries, go with steamed vegetables, brown rice or fresh fruit. If you really want a potato, select potatoes that are baked, boiled or roasted. Eliminate all the butter and sour cream on baked potatoes.

#8 - Avoid appetizers--they only add more calories.

#9 - Order fresh fruit for dessert instead of pie, cake, and ice cream. Or, you can split a dessert with 3-4 other people so each one has just 3-4 bites instead of the entire dessert.

#10 - It's all right to have a drink with dinner, but make it A DRINK, as in one drink. You can keep the calories to no more than 150 if you choose a light beer, a 5 ounce glass of wine, or no more than 1.5 ounces of liquor in a drink. Red or white wine averages about 25 calories per ounce.

These changes are minor and still allow you to enjoy a nice restaurant meal without going overboard on the calories. Bon Appetit!
DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practitioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.