Dining Out Does Not Mean Eating Out of Control Says Experts
Restaurant portion sizes continue to grow. People are always looking to get more for their money, particularly in recent, more difficult economic times.
Experts agree that controlling the portion size of your meals is an important thing when it comes to working on or maintaining an ideal body composition. This takes a little effort at home but can easily be accomplished when you are planning and preparing your own meals. But according to leading diet and nutrition experts, dining out is an entirely different story and requires much more planning and a strategy.
Restaurant portion sizes continue to grow. People are always looking to get more for their money, particularly in recent, more difficult economic times. Restaurants have responded by increasing portion sizes and perceived value. “You would think this is great news for us, right? Not so fast,” say boomer generation health experts Dian Griesel, Ph.D., and Tom Griesel, authors of the new book TurboCharged: Accelerate Your Fat Burning Metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave Diet and Exercise Rules in the Dust (April 2011, BSH). TurboCharged® is a groundbreaking 8-Step program that defies common weight-loss theories. It successfully delivers body-defining rapid fat loss, accelerates metabolism, and improves health and odds of longevity without gimmicks, supplements or special equipment.
The easiest way for a restaurant to accomplish larger portions is to add lower cost ingredients to your plate. This often includes more bread, chips, pasta, rice and potatoes. In addition, they can also make foods “richer” and more filling. They do this by adding fat to the meal. “These added fats are usually the least costly choices they can find and use. None of these portion boosters are good for you, your health or your waistline,” says Dian.
“Since we also have a tendency to eat everything on our plates so we don't feel like we are wasting food or our money, we tend to eat everything put in front of us until we are stuffed, often regretting it later or the following morning when we step on the scale,” elaborates Tom. “All of us need to be particularly vigilant during the holiday season when most people tend to eat out more frequently and the meals are often even larger.”
Portion sizes are what is put on your plate and are not the same as a serving. Guidance can be found on packaging for serving size but restaurant portion sizes are usually at least double.
The Griesel’s offer the following helpful tips for controlling portion size at restaurants, parties or at home.
- Skip the appetizers, bread, and chips because these items usually increase not only the overall calories but add refined carbohydrates and fat. The carbohydrate and fat combination is the fastest route to obesity. The entree portions are more than large enough.
- Eat only half your meal and take the other half home. You can ask for a take-home box before you even get started or you can just leave half. Do not feel compelled to eat everything on your plate.
- Splitting an entree is an even better strategy. Yes, restaurants often charge to split meals but overall it is still less expensive and healthier. Sometimes if you order a large salad and an entrée, they will bring extra plates at no additional charge.
- Try dining family style. Order several entrees and share with the table. Just be sure not to order too much. Less than one entrée per person should always be your guide.
- Make substitutions or order healthy sides. Ask for extra vegetables instead of potatoes, pasta or rice or order some veggies on the side. You can request that your veggies be steamed and served without added fat. Order salad dressing on the side so you can control the amount you use.
- In some restaurants you can order lunch portions instead of dinner portions.
- Eat slowly and be sure to thoroughly chew your food and put your fork or spoon down between each mouthful. It takes time for satiety hormones to kick in and the slower you eat the better. Studies show that slow eaters eat less. Eating slow will increase digestive efficiency and even help you to enjoy your meal more. Fast eaters are often overeaters.
- Focus on your company, not your food. Great meals are meant to be shared with great people; however you should always remember it is the people that really make the experience.
- Frequent restaurants that are accommodating to all of the recommendations made above. This will make everything much easier, healthy and enjoyable. The restaurants will appreciate your business and will often reward you with special service or perks. Always let them know that you appreciate their food and efforts to please you.
Give these tips a try and be sure to send us any other good ideas you have to stay on the road to "Leandom".
Janet Vasquez, Director of Corporate Communications
The Investor Relations Group
11 Stone Street, 3rd floor
New York, NY 10004
Business School of Happiness
Washington Depot, CT