If you are trying to lose weight, you had better stay out of restaurants. According to research two-thirds of Americans are overweight and many of us spend at least one meal a day in a restaurant (including fast-food restaurants). We stop at a drive-through for a quick breakfast sandwich and coffee before going to work or eat out with co-workers for lunch. Families often hit the drive-through window on the way to after school events, sporting practices and piano lessons. It is convenient to stop at the fast-food restaurant and saves time too. The problem is that restaurant eating discourages weight loss in fact it can add unsuspecting pounds.
Did you know that restaurant servings tend to be three even perhaps four times greater than what a normal portion size is? Restaurants often serve endless breadsticks or rolls with meals, which can really pack on the pounds and undo all your hard weight loss work. Restaurant food also tends to be higher in fat content because fat tastes good and keeps the customers coming back for more. Restaurant appetizers also tend to be high in calories. There are many traps for dieters in restaurants that can catch a person unaware. Another enticement that restaurants use to get customers into buying from them is to offer free refills on soda. The problem is that soda is often a very sugary beverage (unless it is diet). Have you noticed how large restaurant cups and glasses are? Small size seems more like large and the large seems more like what extra large used to be when it comes to drink containers.
Did you know that we become so conditioned to large portions when we eat out that often we increase our portion sizes at home so that we are eating the same amount that we have become accustomed to eating while eating in the restaurants. Because eating out has become such a part of our lives we are influenced even if we are not aware of it.
When we eat at a restaurant we have no control over how the food is made or what food is on the menu. Typically restaurant food is rich in fat and full of calories. Menu items tend to include fried chicken, prime rib, and Fettuccini Alfredo all high calorie foods. Some restaurants are designating low-fat entrees on menus, but your eyes will often stray to the other portions of the menus especially if the menu has pictures of all the other tempting higher fat content foods.
What if your job forces you to eat out several times a week (often happens with sales people or executives), how do you resist the diet busting food items? The answer is to select the entrees that include vegetables, or not fried and are non-fat or low fat if possible. Don’t be afraid to ask the server, or chef how the food is prepared and let it be known that you are looking for healthy alternatives on the menu and you may be surprised how helpful restaurant staff can be with selection from the menu. You can also eat only half of your entree and ask for a box for the rest of your meal to eat at a later time. It never helps to starve yourself if you know you are eating out later because that will only cause you to eat more than you would otherwise eat. Eat sensibly no matter whether you are eating out or in and you will soon reach your ideal weight.