In my business there are times that I travel a lot which means that I am eating out a lot. I have had countless friends, family and acquaintances ask me how do I manage my figure and my weight so well, with such a hectic and busy schedule, so I decided to share some of my secrets for successful weight management with those of you that travel a lot, eat out a lot or just want in on my secrets.
Considering that many people go out for breakfast, lunch or dinner up to five times a week, you would think that by now people would have become pros at eating what is right for their body and makes them feel good. You would think that with all the information out now days about how to eat healthy, people would have learned to avoid the fat traps that keep them stuck in the “fat” mode. Well it just isn’t so. We all know that if we are at a restaurant and we order a “Blooming Onion,” it is going to be loaded with calories due to the fat that the onion is fried in but what about that chopped salad that sounds so healthy and delicious? Here is something to note, that salad may not be as healthy and fat free as you think. In an effort to make things on the menu seem healthier, trendy restaurants are revamping their menus to look and sound healthy, but it can make a surprisingly large dent in your diet. I’ve looked at seven of the sneakiest dishes that can actually add to your waistline even though they sound healthy.
- Ever go to an Italian restaurant and they place nice warm bread and olive oil on your table? I’m sure you have, so check this out, while Extra Virgin Olive Oil is hearth healthy, many people go overboard, soaking up as much as a tablespoon of about 119 calories with each chunk of bread that is dipped in it. Food for thought, if you dunk four chunks of bread into that Extra Virgin Olive Oil, you have just taken in over 400 calories and you have even gotten to your meal yet. Here’s a Blissful Tip: Drizzle a little olive oil onto a small plate and add balsamic vinegar to dilute the fat and pump up the flavor. Better yet you might want to use some butter. At Cornell University researchers found that when people spreaded some butter on their bread, they consumed 21 percent fewer calories per slice than those that dunked their bread in the olive oil. Here’s the catch, butter eaters consumed more bread so be sure to cut yourself off after one piece.
- Having a chopped salad always seems like a great thing to do and can seem light compared to other items on the menu. Here is something to be aware of, because everything is so finely chopped, the restaurant can actually fit way more onto a plate or in a bowl. Some chopped salads can contain upwards of 700 calories and with the pieces being so small, it is often difficult to tell what you are eating, which is important in terms of satiation.
Here’s a Blissful Tip: Order a regular tossed salad instead. If you are building a salad at the salad bar, add no more than five toppings and avoid crispy Chinese noodles, dried fruit and other high calorie options. Get your salad dressing on the side, along with a few wedges of lemon or vinegar. You can make a little vinaigrette that will go a long way in avoiding the fat trap.
- Sweet potato fries have become so envogue and are a wonderful super food but when cut into strips and deep-fried, they end up being just “French fries.” Besides a lot of restaurants load them with salt to balance out the vegetables natural sweetness, bringing the salt count to 800 milligrams, and opposed to 40 milligrams for regular “French fries.” Here’s a Blissful Tip: Gram for gram sweet potato fries contain about the same number of calories as regular fries. Since they contain more fiber, calcium and vitamin A, the sweet potato type is definitely better than regular fries. The key to keep portions down is to order them when you have someone else to share them with and only eat a handful.
Rest assured that even though these tips seem small they could play a huge role in successfully managing your weight when you go out to eat whether you are at home with the family or traveling. Small changes that you make in the way you consume your food can have a huge impact on the improvement of successfully managing your weight and your health and well being. So give it a try and see the difference it makes in your life.
I welcome your comments and any additional tips below.
Wishing you much health and wellness!
Rochel Marie Lawson, RN, AHP, CMS
The Queen of Feeing Fabulous