Weekly wellness: The 123s and ABCs of dining out (part 1)

2 years 7 months 4 days ago July 21, 2014 Jul 21, 2014 Monday, July 21 2014 Monday, July 21, 2014 12:37:00 PM CDT in News
By: Amanda Barnes, KOMU Wellness Coach
Embed Code Copied

COLUMBIA - When you are trying to change your daily fueling habits, dining out at restaurants can seem overwhelming. Especially if the decision to dine out is based on work and, because of this, you have no say in the restaurant choice.

Breathe. It's going to be okay.

This is the first of a two-part series created to make things a little more manageable and feel a little less daunting. These tips are meant to be easy. This isn't rocket science. This isn't brain surgery. It's common sense. We aren't reinventing any wheels here. We are just re-reminding you of what you can do to help change your daily habits for the better.

The 123's are super-easy:

1. Be prepared. If you happen to know (in advance) the restaurant where you will be dining, jump online and review their menu. This way you're prepared to order what will best suit your needs.

2. Beware of the buffet. If you have the option of the all-you-can eat buffet or a single entrée, go for the entrée (so you're not tempted). If you opt for the all-you-can-eat salad bar, avoid cream-based "salads" (i.e. potato salad, macaroni salad, etc).

3. Don't drink your calories. Sodas, mixed cocktails and juices can add lots of calories and sugar to your meal. Stick with water and unsweet tea instead.

Now it's time to move on to the ABC's. Hopefully you'll find some tips that will help you along your dining journey.

"A" for Appetizers: I look at appetizers in two ways: skip it or choose it as a meal. If you plan on having an entrée, you probably don't need it. If you didn't see any entrees on the menu that strike your fancy, but the crab cakes appetizer looks delish, plan on ordering that as your entrée with a side salad.

"B" for Bread: Skip it. In most cases, it can add a few hundred calories to your meal. If you have the option of requesting that no bread be delivered to the table, fantastic! If you're with a group of people, just move it to the other side of the table. Save your calories for the meal.

"C" for Creamy/Creamed: If a menu item is described as "creamy" or having a "cream" sauce, in most cases this is an indication of more calories and more fat. I include creamy salad dressings in this too. Try to avoid creamy stuff.

"D" for Dips: I've found that most foods that involve dipping one food item into another food item (aka dipping sauce) is a way to add calories on top of calories. Chicken wings, nachos, chips & salsa, and other foods have a tendency to add to the waistline. Sliced veggies are great! Skip the dip.

"E" for Entree: Choosing an entrée that is going to satisfy you and not break the calorie bank can be a challenge. If you are more focused on "being good," then favor the leaner options. Look for: grilled or baked and chicken or fish; Avoid: fried, battered or creamy. If you are more focused on splurging, pay attention to portion sizes. It's not about suffering. It's about finding a balance that works for you.

"F" for Fried: If you see the word fried as a descriptor of the menu item, ask the server if it's possible to have the item prepared in a different way (i.e. grilled). In this day and age of food allergies, cooks and chefs are accustomed to having to make changes to the preparation of dishes. It's not a problem! Most chefs and cooks will tell you this! They want their customers to be happy! Don't be afraid to ask to have your meal prepared the way you want it.

"G" for Grilled: This is one of the best ways to have your protein choices prepared. Chicken, pork and fish can all be grilled rather than fried. So, even if the menu suggests that the preparation is fried, talk to your server. Avoid fried and go for grilled!

"H" for Half: Portion sizes can be quite large, at times. Challenge yourself to only eat half of your meal and ask for a to-go container for the other half. You might even ask the server to only bring you half of the entrée when your food is ready. If the kitchen can halve your meal before it's even brought to the table, it makes it even easier to succeed at portion control!

"I" for Italian: Pasta! We love it! We just have to be careful when we're at the Italian restaurants. Sauce: go red, not white. Cheese: be careful about adding cheese to your dish (especially if it already has cheese as an ingredient, like lasagna). Adding 1 tablespoon of grated parmesan will add 22 calories to your meal (and I'm pretty sure it's difficult to stop at 1 tablespoon). Pesto: skip it or limit it, because of its oil content.

"J" for Journal: One of the reasons that programs like Weight Watchers are so helpful is because they encourage you to pay attention to what you're eating and drinking. If you have to track and journal every calorie that you consume, you begin to have a self-awareness that is vital to changing habits. There are some excellent smart phone apps available that can help you do the same thing. Or grab a small notebook and a pen!

"K" for Ketchup: Three tablespoons of ketchup can add 50+ calories and 15 grams of sugar to your meal. If you can skip it, skip it.

"L" for Light: Many restaurant chains have started offering "Light" (or "Low fat") menu items. Read the menu and see what your options may be. Usually theses chains also include the nutritional information with the description. They can't make it much easier than that!

Now you're well on your way to becoming a dining-out master! Stay tuned for next week's conclusion to the 123's and ABC's of Dining Out.

Amanda K Barnes
Certified Personal Trainer
www.bebybarnes.com

amanda@bebybarnes

Weekly Wellness

 

More News

Grid
List
WENTZVILLE, Mo. (AP) — Police in the eastern Missouri town of Wentzville are investigating after a woman working inside the... More >>
1 hour ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 11:11:07 AM CST in News
HANNIBAL, Mo. (AP) — Thirteen people from Missouri and Illinois face federal charges for allegedly conspiring to distribute cocaine and... More >>
2 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 9:59:35 AM CST in News
CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — A St. Louis County man has been found guilty of looting a Foot Locker store during... More >>
4 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 7:47:00 AM CST in Continuous News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police have identified the man killed by an officer after allegedly shooting at police... More >>
4 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 7:45:18 AM CST in Continuous News
COLUMBIA – About 45 concerned Mid-Missourians had the opportunity to ask the important questions they want experts to answer Wednesday... More >>
10 hours ago February 23, 2017 Feb 23, 2017 Thursday, February 23 2017 Thursday, February 23, 2017 1:47:00 AM CST in News
BOONE COUNTY - A motorcycle crash sent one person to University Hospital Wednesday night, according to a Boone County Sherrif's... More >>
16 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 7:43:00 PM CST in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Cyber Crimes Task Force investigated an apartment at the Lakewood Apartment Complex Wednesday afternoon. ... More >>
17 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 7:30:00 PM CST in News
BOONVILLE - The MUSTANG Drug Task Force arrested nine people and indicted a dozen more on charges related to the... More >>
18 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 6:02:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The arrest of one Columbia man accused in a terrorist plot left members of the community in shock... More >>
20 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 4:39:00 PM CST in News
SALINE COUNTY - According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Carolyn Lacy, 66, from Sweet Springs, was traveling west on... More >>
20 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 4:32:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Controversial legislation aimed at restricting access to multi-user restrooms has sparked conversation across the country. The so-called bathroom... More >>
21 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 3:27:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA- The Columbia Fire Department, MU Health and Boone Hospital have teamed up to offer Columbia residents the File of... More >>
21 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 3:25:00 PM CST in News
FENTON, Mo. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence has told a Missouri crowd that small business is the "beating heart... More >>
21 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 3:16:40 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The national college sorority Alpha Chi Omega will now admit transgender women. The sorority posted a Facebook... More >>
21 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 3:09:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Prescription opioids are some of mid-Missouri's deadliest drugs. Local law enforcement said because these substances enter the population... More >>
21 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 2:47:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – Frustrated Missourians packed the road outside the Stoney Creek Inn Wednesday to voice their displeasure with Missouri’s 4th... More >>
22 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 2:39:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - For anyone with a damaged American flag flying outside, it might be time to replace it. To avoid... More >>
22 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 1:58:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's unemployed would again face losing several weeks of jobless benefits under a bill advancing in... More >>
22 hours ago February 22, 2017 Feb 22, 2017 Wednesday, February 22 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 1:39:54 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 61°
1pm 64°
2pm 66°
3pm 67°
4pm 68°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

12:30p
Inside Edition
1:00p
Days of Our Lives
2:00p
The Dr. Oz Show
12:00p
Jerry Springer
1:00p
Maury
2:00p
Judge Alex

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Superstore
7:30p
Powerless
8:00p
The Blacklist
9:00p
The Blacklist: Redemption
7:00p
Supernatural
8:00p
Riverdale
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld