Archive for the tag - eating out

Study: Eating Out Adds 200 Calories Per Day…

t1larg.fastfoodWhether it’s going to your favorite fast food establishment or eating a sit down meal at a restaurant, researchers have found that dining out adds an average of 200 calories per day to your diet.

The study, which was recently published in Public Health Nutrition, surveyed some 12,000 individuals on two separate days. According to the data, the calorie boost was greater for low income individuals and people who identified as black. High income individuals saw the smallest increase in calories; researchers speculate that higher income individuals may have better access to resources and healthier (but often more expensive) food options.

It’s no secret that fast food and restaurant meals are often more calorie-dense than home-cooked meals. But researchers noted that on days when individuals ate out, they didn’t adjust their calorie intake accordingly. In other words, if you know you’re eating out for dinner, compensate for the extra calories with an especially healthy lunch. It can help mitigate the damage.

Beyond calories, restaurant and fast food eating also resulted in more saturated fats, sugar and salt.

This data clearly demonstrates the impact of typical restaurant meals on our diets. But the choice doesn’t need to be between eating out and proper nutrition. There are certainly steps that each of us can take to ensure healthier restaurant meals. Like drinking water instead of sugary drinks or alcohol. And sticking with baked or broiled options rather than foods that are fried, creamy or breaded. Research restaurants online (some have more healthy options than others) and ask your server for substitutes.

200 calories might not sound like a lot, but when those calories are consumed several days a week, 52 weeks a year – they add up to an alarmingly large number. Be aware of the foods you eat and make smarter decisions whenever possible!

12 Words to Avoid on Restaurant Menus (And Healthier Alternatives)!

A moment on the lips... forever on the hips!

The National Restaurant Association claims that Americans eat almost 24% of their meals in restaurants. Those restaurant meals are often loaded with sodium, unhealthy fats, sugary sauces and and an enormous amount of calories.

By making small changes in the ways we order restaurant foods, we can make a big change in our overall health and wellness.

Pay attention to a meal’s description for clues into its possible nutritional value (or lack thereof). It’s generally best to avoid foods described with the following words on a menu:

  1. Alfredo
  2. Pan-fried
  3. Crispy, crunchy
  4. Battered
  5. Au gratin
  6. A la mode (topped with ice cream)
  7. Scalloped
  8. Loaded/covered
  9. Cheesy
  10. Buttered
  11. Creamed
  12. Fried/deep fried

Instead, opt for food items described as:

  1. Steamed
  2. Broiled
  3. Grilled
  4. Baked
  5. Seasoned
  6. Stir-fried
  7. Poached
  8. Roasted

Using these guidelines, you might order steamed dumplings instead of the pan-fried alternative. Or broiled fish instead of a deep fried option. Likewise, seasoned veggies make for a wiser choice than vegetables in a butter or cream sauce. You get the point.

In general, these healthier adjectives can help point conscious restaurant eaters in a better direction.

And remember, lots of little changes add up to big changes over the course of months and years!

Also, thank you to everyone who snagged my brand-new Jock Workout fitness program and exercise videos during yesterday’s launch! It was my most successful product launch ever! Check out The Jock Workout today to see what all the fuss is about (and to watch a free preview). Remember to use discount code “blog” to save 25% before June 7!

9 Tips to Eat Healthy at Restaurants!

He’s ready to take your order…

It’s difficult enough to eat healthy at home – even when you are in control of the ingredients being used. But dining out at a restaurant presents a real challenge for health-minded individuals. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, or really just maintain a healthy lifestyle, try making use of these top 9 tips:

  1. Play on your own turf. Not all restaurants are created equal. Opt for restaurants that value nutrition, and browse the menu online before you go. Ensure that there are healthy options that appeal to you.
  2. Start smart. Fried calamari and potato skins might be tempting, put go for a soup or salad instead. If ordering soup, select a tomato or stock-based option (rather than one made with cream). For salad, order dressing on the side. A great tip for eating salad: Dip your fork in the dressing, and then scoop up some salad. It’s just enough dressing to add flavor without overloading your meal with calories and fat.
  3. Learn the language. Unhealthy options are often disguised. Words like “crispy,” “alfredo,” “breaded,” and “pan-fried” generally indicate unhealthy choices. Look for words like “grilled,” “steamed” and “baked.”
  4. Speak up. Eating healthy may require asking for substitutes. The chicken sandwich may come with a pile of fries, but you can ask for vegetables or salad as a substitute instead. You can ask for fried foods to be grilled, and dressings or sauces on the side.
  5. Don’t drink your calories. Fruity drinks and soda are packed with calories. Water is always the best option. If you’re going for an alcoholic drink, opt for wine or light beer.
  6. Speaking of water, drink lots of it. Water has a slew of great benefits. It boosts your metabolism, curbs your appetite and slows down your eating. Your stomach is full 15 minutes before your brain realizes it – so water does wonders to prevent overeating.
  7. Know your meat. It’s always best to select leans meats. Prime rib is loaded with fat (in fact, it’s one of my top 5 unhealthiest holiday foods); filet mignon or flank steak are much healthier. Poultry is a great option, but order it without skin (the skin adds a quick 8 grams of fat). Order breast meat (instead of thigh meat) whenever possible.
  8. Look for healthy selections. Restaurants often have a section of their menu to showcase healthy options. Other restaurants designate certain menu options with a symbol if they meet healthy guidelines. Ask your waiter or waitress for guidance.
  9. Share a happy ending. Sorbet or non-dairy gelato are much healthier than that triple chocolate layer cake with vanilla ice cream. And there’s no harm in sharing a dessert with your dinner partner. Splitting the calories halves the damage!

Do you have any tips for eating healthy at restaurants? I’d love to hear ’em. Let us know in the comments below!

And for more nutrition information, download my Eating For Fitness ebook today!