There’s something really nice about dining out in restaurants: you get to relax while someone else cooks, the food is delicious and beautiful, and someone else handles the clean-up. Whether it is a special occasion or just a long, busy day, dining out can fit the bill. If you’re on a diet, however, dining out might seem like it is totally off the menu. It doesn’t have to be, though. You can stick to a diet to maintain a healthy weight or even drop pounds, even if you indulge in restaurant meals now and then. Just follow these tricks!
Don’t Skip Meals
When people have a nice dinner out planned, they often skip lunch to “save up” their calories. While this may make sense on the surface, the actual result is that you arrive at the restaurant totally famished, and inhale whatever is placed in front of you, usually bread and oil or cheese. This ends up costing more calories than a sensible lunch would have had.
Drink Fewer Calories
If your favorite thing about eating out is finding new, delicious food and wine pairings, don’t despair. You can still enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail but employ moderation. Studies show that drinking 2 alcoholic drinks a day is linked to consuming nearly 30% more calories. So stick to one glass and drink water for the rest of the meal.
Read Menu Labels
It is great that menus are labeling the healthy options they offer, but what qualifies as healthy? A menu item might get a “healthy” icon if it’s low-fat, low-carb, or low-calorie overall, so make sure that you ask. When in doubt, use the descriptions as your guide and opt for grilled or steamed options while avoiding fried ones. Don’t be afraid to ask the waiter to have sauces, dressings, and butter on the side so you can control how much you add.
Pre-Portion Your Food
The portions that you get in restaurants are often much larger than a standard portion, sometimes as much as double. When you eat only ½ to ¾ of what is served, you will still feel satisfied but you will often save up to 300 calories depending on the menu item. If you know you won’t be able to refrain from eating that entire delicious plateful, ask for your take-home box right away and box up half before you even start.
LET BASTA PASTA TREAT YOU!
For more than 12 years, Basta Pasta has given Maryland diners delicious Italian food from local and fresh ingredients. Enjoy delicious pasta dishes, unlimited salad and breadsticks, and fine wine at one of our locations in Timonium, Fallston, Perry Hall, or Eldersburg. Contact us online or give us a call at the location-specific phone number listed here. Read our menu and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter! If you don’t feel like going out, order our signature crab cakes online and enjoy delicious Basta Pasta from home!