A recent survey has revealed that situations when the head of the household is 30 years of age or younger, a family spends more than 40 percent of their food budget on eating out.
Meals with various courses that are eaten over a longer period of time and with the combination of alcohol can all be associated with overindulgence and this is why eating out with your friends can cause you to overeat. Meals with multiple courses eaten over longer periods and with alcohol are all associated with overindulgence. Larger serving plates and spoons can increase the chances of stuffing more food on your plate than you usually do. You also have little control as to the preparation of the food or to the portion size. Food that is eaten out tends to be higher in salt, calorie and fat as well.
Be mindful about choosing your dish from the menu though. Restaurants do not have to stamp a nutritional information label on each plate and so opting for the healthy option bight not always be noticeable or easy to spot. But by doing some smart and knowledge thinking eating out can really become an enjoyable, healthy and fun experience.
General eating out suggestions
- Order only something sweet after a meal and only if still hungry.
- Try not to order an extra course to just fit in or to be cool.
- Avoid the ‘all you can eat’ buffets like the plague.
- Ask the waiter to tell the Chef to cook your main meat and or veggies in canola oil.
- Say no to the free basket of bread or “filler” that most restaurants serve to use as a time killer while your meal is prepared, these are basically bread rolls, hush puppies fried in oil etc.
- If any sauces come on your dish ask for them on the side. (Most restaurants pour a heavy amount of sauce on their dishes to make them look larger and to fill you up just a little more)
- If you are unsure as to what ingredients your dish contains and want to know just ask the waiter.
- Think about splitting a large dish with a companion.
- Choose side orders of fresh salads or steamed veggies instead of the French fries, rice or bake potato that you usually order.
- Go for dishes that are steamed, baked, grilled, poached or cooked in its own juice rather than fried or cooked in an inch of oil or deep fried.
- Check the menu or table for olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and pepper etc, to put on your salad instead of the high in fat thousand islands, blue cheese or ranch dressing that you usually pour on your salad.
It’s all too easy to have more saturated fat, salt and sugar that your realize when you’res not cooking your own meal and you can also end up eating a lot more that you normally would, but by being smart and food conscious you can enjoy your food outings with more wisdom, longer and better health.