EAT OUT BUT EAT WELL
Personal trainer Lauren Aizen explains how to stick to your clean eating regime while eating out
Going out to dinner tonight? You’ve got plenty of company. Almost 75% of us eat at a restaurant at least once a week, and 25% dine out every two or three days, according to a recent study.
With so many fabulous restaurants to tempt you, courtesy of The Restaurant Club, you may worry that your weight loss plans will be scuppered. Fear not! Happily, you can order off any menu and drop pounds — or maintain a healthy weight — without depriving yourself. Here are some useful tips which allow you to tickle your tastebuds without going overboard!
1) Ditch the starve-yourself-all-day routine. Instead, eat a light lunch, such as a salad with chicken and veggies and a whole-grain roll. Then in the late afternoon, have a small snack — a container of low-fat yogurt, a handful of almonds (about one ounce), or a cube of low-fat cheese. Keeping your hunger under control means you won’t dive into the bread basket the moment you’re shown to your table.
2) If you want a glass of pinot noir, by all means have it. Just don’t go overboard. One study found that women who indulged in more than two drinks a day consumed nearly 30% more calories.
3) More and more restaurants are promoting low-cal, good-for-you choices — but unfortunately, the claim isn’t always true. For instance, a steak covered in Gorgonzola cheese may be low in carbs but it is also loaded with artery-clogging saturated fat and calories! Read the menu carefully. Look for a balance of lean protein (fish, chicken breast, pork tenderloin, strip steak), complex carbohydrates (brown rice, whole wheat pasta) and monounsaturated fats.
4) Watch salads swimming in mayo.
5) Remember that most restaurants will honour all kinds of special requests — all you have to do is speak up. Order your food grilled, baked, poached, or steamed instead of fried. Ask for dishes to be cooked with a little olive oil instead of butter.
6) Choose wholegrains 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 vegetable sides, 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.
7) If you fancy dessert why not order one dessert for the table? A few bites should satisfy your sweet tooth. Not in the mood to share? Ask for a dish of berries or a small fruit sorbet.
In essence, savouring a well-prepared restaurant meal is one of the greatest pleasures in life. But for many of us, so is being in shape. By heeding these strategies when eating out you can still have your cake and eat it!
Lauren Aizen offers 20% discount on personal training packages to Restaurant Club cardholders. CLICK HERE for more information