Eating is a behaviour that is largely controlled by the people with whom we live, work or socialise with, places in which we carry out our daily lives and how we deal with emotions. Being aware of this and making changes to positively affect these behaviours is vitally important in the quest to control our weight.
Although we all love a good quality home cooked meal, the reality is that we cannot always eat at home and consume only food that we prepare ourselves. Our busy modern lives unfortunately dictate that at some point in time, you will be eating out. This may be due to work requirements, special events or simply picking up some take away on the way home to avoid cooking.
Eating out can test your resolve as far as healthy eating goes. If you only eat out once a month it’s not so much of an issue but if you eat out regularly, good choices are critical.
Follow these tips to survive the temptations:
• Don’t do it when you’re ravenously hungry – If you know you will be eating out, consume a small, healthy, low kilojoule, protein rich snack before you leave. Then go easy when you’re out
• Do some extra exercise – Preferably beforehand and if possible, walk to dinner. If not, park away from the front door and walk a comfortable distance to the restaurant instead of spending that extra 5 minutes driving around looking for the bonus park directly at the front door
• Drink water – Before you leave home and before you order, drink some water to help fill your stomach. It also contains no kilojoules as opposed to alcohol.
• Bypass the bread – Unless it’s of the extraordinary that you have never tasted before or its only small and low GI
• Order like you cook at home – Select the meal with low GI carbs, plenty of vegetables or salad and adequate protein. Alternatively, select the ingredients listed in other dishes and ask them to create the meal for you
• Halve the size – Order an entrée for your main or specify just an entrée size of your selected main
• Hold the fries – Replace the chips with salad or veggies. Alternatively just ask for no fries. This simple request may help you save over 1,000kJ
• Pace yourself – Order one course at a time. This will give you time to decide whether you really need to have the next one
• Sauce on the side – Ask for sauces separately. Normally high in kilojoules and fat, this allows you to add it as required
• Take your time – Relax, eat slowly and enjoy the fact that you don’t have to do the cooking or cleaning up
• You don’t have to finish everything on your plate – Although your mum always taught you differently, it’s OK to leave food on your plate. You don’t have to go home feeling like a stuffed walrus
• Choose your drinks carefully – Remember that soda water and mineral water contain no kilojoules, fruit juices and sugary drinks contain moderate amounts and alcohol contains a high level of empty kilojoules. Combining alcohol and mixers together like in a vodka and orange juice increase the kilojoule content significantly
• Share the dessert – If you really want it, why not let someone experience it with you
• Walk it off – After a restaurant meal, walk home or after some at home take away, walk the dog
• Only eat until you are 80% full – ‘hara hachi bu’ is a Confucian teaching that instructs people to eat until they are 80% full. The Okinawans of Japan, practise ‘hara hachi bu’ and have the world’s highest proportion of centenarians, at approximately 50 per 100,000 people. Now there’s something to think about… See you next month!
Thanks for sharing Duncan and if you are looking to kickstart your own fitter future you can drop in to see him at either Coffs Coast Health Club Toormina or Moonee! You can also contact him directly on 0411 103 867 or Facebook to get started today.