The following content is provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota.
A typical restaurant meal has more than half the 2,000 calories recommended each day for the average American
Less is more when eating out! Try these tips next time you eat out.
1. Think small and downsize portions.
- Split your meal with a friend or ask the waiter to wrap up half your entrée before
it comes to the table. You eat half the calories!
- Check out special menus for seniors and kids. Many restaurants have eliminated
age restrictions to accommodate the increased demand for smaller portions.
- Eat an appetizer as your entrée.
2. Skip the pre-meal baskets of bread or chips.
It’s easy to eat 500 or more calories while waiting for your entrée. Make this change once a week and you can lose up to seven pounds in a year!
3. Choose calorie-free beverages.
Also, unlimited refills and open soda dispensers can make it all too easy to
lose track of the number of calories you’re consuming.
4. Sit by the slowest eater at the table.
Aim to keep pace. By slowing down, you’ll enjoy your food more and be more receptive to signals that you’re satisfied. A study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that, compared to their fast-eating peers, slow eaters took in fewer calories per meal.
5. Be careful at restaurant buffets.
Big plates and unlimited trips can entice anyone to overeat.
6. Don’t be deceived by meal deals that leave you feeling stuffed.
Eating sensible portions that fuel your body is a better deal for your health.
7. Load half your plate with fruits and vegetables.
Ask the waiter to double the vegetables with every entrée. Try fruit for dessert.
8. Start your meal with a broth-based soup or a side salad with dressing on the side.
Studies suggest you’ll eat 12 to 20 percent fewer total calories for the entire meal!
9. Skip dessert, try bite-sized options, or share one dessert with everyone at the table.