I get a lot of questions from my clients, friends and family on how to make wiser choices when eating out, especially during the lunch hour when it is easy to just grab a slice of pizza and soda to scarf down before the next meeting. Here are some easy things to keep in mind when making a decision in your meal choices.
THE CLASSIC LUNCH SANDWICH
One of the easiest ways to cut calories at lunch is to opt out of the buttered bread for your lunch time meal. In fact, if you can, remove the mayo too! Sub in some Dijon mustard instead. Your waist will thank you.
ON THE SIDE:
If there’s a sauce on it, ask for it on the side or none at all. Add Lemon and cracked pepper to dress your salad instead of a creamy salad dressing that is packed with calories you don’t want to waste on an appetizer. And use mustard or soya sauce instead of other condiments – this provides flavour and adds nothing (except some sodium) to the dish.
ASK FOR SALAD
I know its difficult to say no to the golden French fries that accompany that burger, but ask for a salad instead, or even half and half. You’ll eat less of the fries and get the same satisfaction. In fact eat your burger open-faced instead too! You get all the satisfaction of eating a burger while only eating half the bun.
HIGH FAT CONTENT
We all want to indulge when we go out for a meal – usually we go for something that we can’t make ourselves, but foods cooked in high fat methods (golden foods) should be avoided. Be aware of the following terms:
While alcohol usually is avoided during work hours, some office celebrations may allow some. Carry some sparking water with you instead. You’ll be happy you did because while your colleagues may feel groggy from the few glasses of wine at lunch, you’ll be ready to hit that meeting at 2PM without batting an eye.
SAY NO TO EMPTY CALORIES
Above all, avoid pop and soda. In some instances, I have seen people enter the elevator to the building with a can of pop already cracked open at 8AM! These are just empty calories. Stick to water, tea, coffee and sparkling water if you really crave that carbonated drink.
THE SURE FIRE WAY…
The best way to avoid consuming unwanted calories. PACK A LUNCH. Take your left over chicken from dinner and throw it on top of a bed of greens. Cut some veggies and grab a small Greek yogurt for a snack. Packing the night before will make sure your lunch is ready to grab, especially if you’re strapped for time in the morning. Planning on the weekends and cooking bulk can help you avoid the mid-week drain and prevent you from eating poorly.