Whether you go to a coffee shop for your daily coffee and banana bread, grab a panini for lunch or order Thai for takeout, you will most certainly blow any attempts at losing weight. If you enjoy an active social life and go out for dinner and drinks regularly, or if you travel for work and must eat at hotels and restaurants often, you may have noticed an expanding waistline.
Really, it’s not your fault. Restaurants have made it nearly impossible to find any meal under 1000 Calories. Considering most of us need less than 2000 Calories a day, a dinner out with a drink and appetizer can blow our entire day’s worth of Calories. Even healthy-sounding meals like chicken lettuce wraps, salmon rice bowl and grilled chicken salad all boast 1000 Calories – the same as a plate full of calamari! Chefs are experts at adding fat to dressings and sauces to flavour otherwise ordinary meals. And they stack the portions of rice, pasta and fries to give the consumer value for their meal.
You can avoid these fat traps by staying away from rice bowls, pasta dishes and noodle bowls that have massive portions and rich sauces. Avoid everything deep fried like fries, chicken wings, tempura or breaded chicken. Skip the appetizers and hold the sauce, butter dish, sour cream and creamy dips. Get used to drinking water with all your meals.
So what are some good meal ideas? For breakfast, try a simple egg wrap. For lunch, have a small sub or wrap filled with veggies and grilled chicken (skip the fries, pop and chips). Dinner – order a 6 oz. grilled steak with veggies or baked fish tacos.
If you eat out fairly regularly, you may be interested to learn that many restaurant chains have posted their nutrition information on their websites or at healthyfamiliesbc.ca. Of course, the more we eat at home, the healthier we will be.
Cristina Sutter is a Private Practice Sport Dietitian at Optimal Performance Clinic in Vancouver. For more information, visit cristinasutter.ca.