Below, we give you a number of very simple tricks you can use to eat healthier and stay lean even while dining out.
The 3 most important things to avoid that are everywhere at restaurants are shown in the list below:
- deep fried foods (anything battered that got a scorching bath of trans fats)
- refined starchy foods
- any sodas, juices, or other sugary foods (except whole fruits, which are great)
If you can skip these major culprits, this eliminates the major food sources that do the worst damage in our food supply - trans fats, refined vegetable oils, refined starchy carbohydrates, and processed sugars. This means you should try to skip the table bread, skip the french fries that come with every single sandwich on every menu known to man, and reduce all of the heaping portions of pasta and rice that are often loaded on the plates as well.
Instead, try to order just meat with side vegetables, and a salad, asking for the vegetables or salad as a substitute for the typical french fries, pasta, or rice, that most restaurant meals usually come with. Almost every restaurant I have ever been to will always allow me to substitute vegetables or a side salad for the french fries or chips that almost always come with burgers or sandwiches.
Take a look at the typical difference this simple substitution makes between choosing smart and doing what most people do...
Most people will eat a meal out such as this:
- Burger or sandwich or burger
- chips or fries
- soda or other sweetened drink (and no, diet sodas are NOT healthy!)
A MUCH smarter alternative if you care about your body and health is this simple change:
- Burger or Sandwich
- Salad or veggies
- unsweetened iced tea or water (no diet drinks -- unless you like to drink poison!)
These 2 simple substitutions save at least 400 - 900 calories every time you dine out (depending on drink refills and fries portion sizes)... AND you are cutting out the most harmful foods to your body as well by avoiding the evil trans fats and high fructose corn syrup from the fries and soft drinks.
Another side note: a little-known way to eat full portions of pasta, rice, and breads and actually get away with it without packing on the body fat is to make sure to fit in a high intensity full body resistance training workout (can be free weights or body weight training) before your scheduled meal time.
Sometimes it may be hard to fit the workout into your schedule right before the meal, but if you can, the meal can be your "post-workout meal". After a high intensity resistance training workout, your body can handle a higher amount of carbohydrates than normal to help replenish the muscle glycogen depletion you had during the intense workout.
A typical moderate intensity cardio workout will NOT cut it for this... it must be high intensity resistance training workout to deplete enough muscle glycogen to handle restaurant portions of carbs.
I hope these dining tips help you choose smarter and healthier for a leaner body next time you eat out.
Enjoy, and good luck with your fitness and weight-loss endeavors!
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Mike Geary -
Certified Nutrition Specialist,
Certified Personal Trainer,
Author of the world-wide best-seller: The Truth about Six Pack Abs