Today, Bob Caputo tells you how to eat healthy even when dining out, and it's full of helpful tips and information.
Watch the video below and check out the original script below that to learn how to eat healthy when dining out.
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When dining out it is very easy to make bad eating choices. There is all that great food in restaurants. The dinner plates are so huge and the food is just piled on them. They serve baskets of hot bread and butter, and of course, they have desserts. Chocolate cakes with whipped cream, and maybe some ice cream. That does not have to be the path you travel. You can eat healthily if you follow a few pointers. First: it is all about balance. If you have eaten very healthy all day, you can have a slightly heavier dinner. That doesn’t mean you can have the fried oyster loaf, french fries and chocolate 5 layer cake. It does mean that you can have a 5 ounce lean filet mignon or a chicken marsala with a small pasta side dish. But notice I said lean steak and only 5 ounces of it. Not the 16 ounce rib eye special. And try to get whole wheat pasta or brown rice if it is available. A note about eating enough food: Don’t skip meals, just eat proper meals. If you skip a meal, your body goes into starvation mode and tries to store the food it does get as fat to be used next time it is starving. Instead eat 5 or 6 healthy small meals. This way your body knows more food is coming soon and it tends to use the food it does get for energy. So don’t think that you can skip lunch and have a heavy dinner. Just eat a lower calorie lunch. If you are meeting friends for lunch or dinner, eat a healthy snack before going in the restaurant. I find that if I am starving, I will eat a loaf of bread and order too much food. It is like shopping in the supermarket. If you shop when you are hungry you will shop more impulsively and spend a lot more money. ‘Oh I want that and that and that!’ If I am at home, it may be a couple of ounces of chicken or tuna fish and and some brown rice. If I am on the road, I try to stop at a convenience store and buy a healthy, low carb, low fat, protein bar, a couple of hard boiled eggs, egg white breakfast sandwich or a salad. Something to fill me up a little.
If you are eating alone, maybe while shopping or on a work appointment, the best place to eat is a Chinese restaurant. Don’t order the stir fried chicken or shrimp in lobster sauce. Order steamed chicken or shrimp, steamed broccoli, brown rice and maybe a little sauce on the side. This is the perfect, healthy meal on the go: low fat, good carbs, low in calories and not too expensive. There is a Chinese restaurant in every strip center so there is no excuse to go to a fast food restaurant. If you are eating at a restaurant with friends or business associates, try getting them to go to a Japanese restaurant. Have some miso soup, a salad and sashimi, but try not to get the sushi rolls with a lot of rice. If they don’t want Japanese food, at a regular restaurant, avoid fatty and high carb foods. Lasagna tastes great but it is incredibly fattening. Stay away from anything fried, cream and butter sauces, potatoes, white rice and heavy salad dressings, and croutons. Soup may sound healthy but is can be full of fat and carbs. White French bread may be tasty but it is nothing more than a ticket on the train to a bigger waist. And although an occasional glass of wine is OK, liquor is very fattening as it is full of empty carbs. Start with a salad with a low fat or fat free dressing. Olive Oil and Vinegar is great. This will start to fill you up so you will want to eat less of the more fattening entree. Order grilled chicken, simply baked, poached or grilled salmon, tuna or shrimp with lemon or lime juice. Have the simply prepared vegetables. Stay with the green leafy ones as they are the healthiest. Just try to avoid butter, cream and cheese sauces. Many chain restaurants now have menus listing the food calorie content or a healthy option section. Go for those. For dessert, have some fruit: strawberries, blueberries or raspberries or sorbet, sugar free if possible. Be careful, a lot of fruits are very high in calories, berries are your best choice.
Now here is a cheat: if you had a very low calorie meal, you can have a higher calorie dessert, but only if you had a poached or plain baked or grilled fish. But don’t go crazy. A piece of fruit pie, without the crust is OK or a fruit and yogurt parfait. Have milk with your coffee. Cream or ½ and ½ is a real no no. Tea and lemon is a better choice. And if you want, have a sugar substitute instead of sugar. So you can eat out and not have to buy larger waist pants, just eat out smart.