How to Avoid Restaurant Diet Traps

Nutrifitmarbella healthy tips

Between the tantalizing descriptions on the menu, the huge portions, and the inability to figure out how many calories you’re taking in, there are bound to be many times when you think it’s best to eat at home.

Eating out is a pleasure that you probably don’t want to give up forever. I think that learning to read a restaurant menu and knowing how to “eat out responsibly” are skills worth mastering.

If you only eat out a couple of times a year, I would surely tell you to just go out and enjoy yourself. On average, we eat one in three main meals away from home, so some of these frequent restaurant diet traps are worth paying attention to.

Be aware of your own response to caffeine. If it causes you nervousness or does not let you sleep, it would be advisable to reduce its consumption. Taking caffeine to increase brain power during the day will not help you much, especially if it then prevents you from resting well at night Caffeinated drinks can help you increase concentration, but you should not neglect your diet and depend on caffeine to keep you active throughout the day. Water is always a good option, but you can also drink coffee or tea in moderation.

Don’t deviate from your usual meal plan

You should have a general plan in mind for what you usually include in your meals and stick to it. If you tend to have a combination of protein, vegetables, and salad for your midday meal, look for something similar on the menu. And don’t miss a sandwich or a plate of pasta.

Beware of dishes that seem healthier than they are

Snacks can be healthy if they are made with lean meat, vegetables, and whole wheat bread. But calories can skyrocket if cheese or mayonnaise is added or if they measure 12 inches. Also watch out for those salads that seem healthy! A Chinese chicken salad can exceed 1000 calories due to the crispy fried noodles and heavy dressing.

Don’t trust the specials of the day

The waiter will likely come up with a description of the special of the day that will make your mouth water, so watch out! Most of the specials cannot be modified, which means that you will not be able to remove the sauce or juice or ask to have your fish grilled instead of fried. If the special meets our requirements, great! But go choosing something from the normal menu in advance. That way, you will have an alternative.

Don’t fall into the trap of extras

Be firm when they offer you more food than you want, even if it seems like a good deal. When the waiter says, «You can order an extra helping of French fries at a 5% discount.» Think to yourself: «For a 5% discount, what I will get is 600 calories and 40 grams of fat more.»

Read the calorie count on the menu carefully

A recent study has shown that the calories we eat could exceed those indicated on the menu by 20%. Also, the calorie count usually indicates the calories for each item separately, not the total calories on the plate. So, when looking at the calories in the main dish, don’t forget to include the calories in the side dishes.

Lastly, restaurant servings can be huge

Share a main dish with the person who is accompanying you and ask for an extra side of vegetables. You can also ask to take what is left over when you have eaten your portion. Restaurants should add a lot of extras, but not you.