Courtney Prather is a Bikini model, Competitor and full-time executive from Los Angeles, Ca. You can find her on Facebook.
Tis’ the season for special events!
Holiday parties, work events, family gatherings, an escape from the wintery outdoors- there are more reasons to dine out this time of year than I can count. And no one says you need to be a Scrooge to stay healthy and fit, but before you polish off your plate, consider this:
Researchers from the Journal of American Medical Association found that 40% of restaurant dishes had more calories than stated on the menu. So even if you choose a restaurant that posts nutritional information, keep in mind they often dish up more than they should- costing you an extra 100 calories on average.
It takes your stomach and small intestine up to 15 minutes from the first bite to signal your brain that they are beyond capacity. If u hoofed your meal down, your brain won’t get the memo until it’s too late!
People consume an average of 500 more calories a day when they eat out then on days when they don’t. And today, the average American eats out 4.2 times a week so coming up with a strategy is more important than ever! Here are some of mine:
- Ask for a to-go box with your order and pack half of it up- BEFORE you dig in.
- Ask for things to be prepared “dry”, sans oil and no added salt. Channel that picky Starbuck’s customer and don’t be afraid to customize your order… your waistline will thank you.
- Get dressing on the side. I keep Walden Farms’ single serving dressing packets in my purse to use when I’m in a pinch (Yum! And zero calories…) – Or ask for olive oil and vinegar to make your own.
- Be the life of the party! Tell stories, jokes, socialize-anything that will slow down your eating and keep your mind off your plate.
- Sharing is caring. Split your meal with a friend and save half the calories and half the dollars.
It’s important to stay on track with healthy eating but even more important to maintain a balanced, active lifestyle- which includes RSVP’ing ‘YES’ sometimes. So go ahead and enjoy yourself, but remember the reason why you went out in the first place and focus on that – I bet it wasn’t just to clear your plate 😉