Biggest Winner is amongst us and we know what that means: time to only eat fruits and veggies, starve yourself from sweets, and lock yourself inside to avoid the temptation of attending the grand opening of the Olive Garden.
Lies! No need to take such drastic measures while trying to lose weight. You can still be “normal” and enjoy a nice dined out meal with friends and family. You just need to be smarter than the fork!
According to Prevention Magazine, there 13 simple rules to take into consideration while dinning out:
1. Know before you go: Check out the menu online and be prepared to order
2. Sit in a quiet spot: Those who sit in busier parts of a restaurant are distracted by what is around and lose track of how much they have consumed
3. Be the first to order: This way, you cannot be influenced by what someone else ordered
4. Have it your way: Don’t be afraid to ask the server if modifications can be made or substitutions offered
5. Don’t be seduced by words: Watch those descriptive words, they can trick your taste buds into thinking “savory deep fried chicken with an extra dab of ranch dressing” is delicious and good for you
6. Stay away from snacking: Appetizers=great way to pack in the extra fat before a meal
7. Make a meal out of apps: If there are healthy options for apps, try it for an entrée (which is closer to an actual portion size anyway!) or pair it with a salad
8. Be salad savvy: Just because it is a salad doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Be sure to top your salad with low-cal, fresh veggies and steer clear of toppings such as cheese, bacon, or croutons. Even try the dressing on the side and dip fork as necessary versus drenching the salad.
9. Go on the low side: Swap out the high-cal side dish for a low-fat option such as a double order of steamed veggies.
10. Choose low-fat methods: Determine how your meal is prepared. Ask your server if the meal can be baked or grilled versus fried.
11. Enjoy (a bit) of alcohol: If you decide to kick back with an adult beverage, try to limit it to 150 calories or less for example: 5 oz. of wine, 1.5 oz of liquor, 12 oz light beer
12. Practice portion control: If we went to France, we would all starve. Portion sizes have gotten out of control in America. To minimize portions doggie bag half the meal, eat slower, and listen to your internal hunger signals.
13. Practice the 3-bite rule: Can’t avoid that chocolate craving? Try 3 bites of the dessert and set it aside.
Still can’t shake that sweet tooth? Head home and try these easy-to-make, low-calorie black bean brownies. I know, black beans and chocolate? Bear with me, they are delicious and a great alternative when you are reaching for a sweet.
Ingredients: (1) 15 oz can unseasoned black beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup water
1 package brownie mix
Preparation: Puree beans and water in food processor or blender. Add brownie mix and bake according to package instructions. No oil or eggs necessary!
Serves: Approximately 16
Nutritional information: 80 calories, 3g fat, 8g carbs, 2 g fiber, 5 g protein
by Christina D’Amico, CSCS