Eating out can be frustrating.  Restaurants tend to base the quality and pricing of foods based of quantity and profits.  As a business owner myself I understand making a profit, I have not complaints there.  But as healthy calorie minded consumer we need to be aware of what we are consuming.  In my experience the average entree at a restaurant averages about 700 calories, this doesn’t include the extras such as a appetizers, side salads and beverages.  Add those items back into the calorie count and the meal can quickly top 1000 calories.   The average adult female should be consuming 1500-1800 calories and the average adult male should be consuming 2100-2400 calories.  It is easy to see that eating out at a restaurant can quickly sabotage any well meaning calorie conscious person. So how can you save yourself from consuming more calories than you want to?

Create a quick game plan

  1. Plan ahead– Take a few moments to look up the menu on line and pre-determine what you are going to eat.  This will keep your eyes from being rushed to make a decision at the restaurant. Often times a rushed decision is a bad decision.
  2. Refuse the Bread or Chips– look I know it is nice of the restaurants to offer the bread or chips. To be truthful I enjoy them. But the reality is they provide no nutritional value and just add to the calorie total. In addition over the course of conversation you are likely to partake in mindless consumption, meaning you will just eat whatever is with in easy reach during a conversation.
  3. Ask for the Doggie Bag when placing your order– If you really having a craving for an entree ask for the doggie bag when you place the order.  When your entree arrives immediately cut the portion in half and get it off the table.  Most of us start out with the best of intentions at the end of the meal to put the food in a doggie bag but what ends up happening over the course of the meal is you begin to converse and mindlessly consume.  When the conversation is done you realize you’ve eating the entire entree.  Set yourself up for success and bag it early!
  4. Choose Lean Proteins– Don’t give in to the moment.  Make the best possible choice.
  5. Pass on the Fries, potatoes, rice and pasta– Choose green veggies as your sides.  Of course if your having pasta for the entree practice tip #3.
  6. Drink Water- Drink a 16 oz. glass of water before the entree arrives.  This will you feel full faster.
  7. Here is my bonus tip–  Keep your meal under 600 calories… this should include your appetizer, entree, drink and desert.  The appetizer and desert are optional… you don’t have to have them.

Next time you are headed out to a restaurant put these tips in place and enjoy your dining experience while staying on track with your fitness goals.

Have a tip you would like to share? Please share your tip below.