Wednesday, September 8, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds eating out: Weight loss tips for restaurants

In yesterday's post on how I lost 100 pounds eating out, I got sidetracked on salads and didn't address the many other diet pitfalls at restaurants. The gastric bypass reality TV show "My 600-lb Life" demonstrates the link between obesity and dining out, especially on fast food. It's difficult to find diet food swaps and a lot of menu items actually create the cravings that make us overweight. But you can dine out and still lose weight if you follow these 25 weight loss tips for restaurants. Part of how I lost 100 pounds (without gastric bypass) was learning to navigate such calorie restricting unfriendly situations with diet food swaps. 

1) This step is crucial for restaurants in particular and fighting obesity in general. Order water with your meal. Not drinking enough plain water is a big part how we get overweight. You can see the results of this on "My 600-lb Life." The morbidly overweight participants are always drinking soda or other sugary beverages. And water is an appetite suppressant because it fills the stomach. 

2) Ask for lemon with your water. Lemon is a good salt substitute, fat burner, system cleanse and antioxidant metabolism booster. It will help your food digest better and prevents dehydration which, believe it or not, you can get from drinking too much water without electrolytes. (Learned that in my recent bout of Covid 19). 

3) Skip the alcohol and caffeine before or with meals, or if you do, order red wine. I lost 100 pounds and drank red wine (in moderation) throughout the process. I just factored it into my calorie restricting 1200 calorie diet. Red wine has resveratrol, an antioxidant fat burner which increases metabolism. It's also, however, an appetite stimulant like caffeine so drink very sparingly. Green tea, an appetite suppressant, is the exception. Drink coffee or tea after meals because they do increase metabolism. 

4) Eat out at restaurants where meals are served in courses. Fill up on soup and salad to lose weight. Most friendly to the keto diet, calorie restricting, 1200 calorie diet and even intermittent fasting. 

5) Ask for salad dressing served on the side and use less. Learn from "My 600-lb Life" Penny Seager, who drowned her salads in dressing then wondered why she failed weight loss after gastric bypass. Yes, keto advises eating fatty foods, but balanced with fiber, fatty acids and protein. Eating too much saturated fat and transfat was how many of us got overweight (diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol) in the first place.  

6) Choose vinegar and oil dressing instead of creamy dressings to lose weight and hypertension.

7) Choose broth soup or consomm√© over heavy creamy soups and chowders for weight loss. 

7) Order grilled, baked or broiled entrees instead of sauteed, fried or deep-fried options. Along with sugar, fried foods are a direct cause of diabetes

8) Choose vegetables or baked potato instead of French fries, mashed potatoes, scalloped or hash browns. Ask for light butter on the side. Baked potatoes make pretty good diet food swaps. They aid weight loss by filling you up and providing electrolytes.  

9) Skip bread or rolls if served with the meal. Ask to swap a serving of veggies like cooked broccoli which is high in antioxidant electrolytes. 

10) Try vegetarian or vegan food swaps. Eggplant Parmesan is just as good, if not better than Veal Parmesan. 

11) Trade mayo based salads for vegetable salads. 

12) Pick keto preferred parmesan cheese instead of cheddar or saturated fat cheeses on your salad. 

13) Skip croutons on salads. 

14) Go easy on sauces, dips, condiments and spreads to lose obesity and diabetes. Skip the sour cream on a baked potato. 

15) Use lemon or malt vinegar for fish instead of tartar sauce. Lemon can actually reduce hypertension by simulating a salty flavor in a healthy way. 

16) Choose broiled instead of deep-fried fish. Diet food swaps # 15 and #16 can can cut calories by 80 percent alone. 

17) Trade high saturated fat ranch and sugary BBQ sauce dips for mustard or marinara sauce dipping sauce. 

18) Use lemon as a salt substitute. 

19) Opt for Splenda or keto approved erythritol for iced tea or coffee.  

20) Eat slowly. Do not rush through the meal. This will help you feel fuller. 

21) Order from the ala carte menu instead of the full dinner menu; portions tend to be very large in restaurants and it's harder to stay on that 1200 calorie diet. 

22) Choose restaurants which post nutrition data on the menu. 

23) Vegetarian fish and seafood are sometimes better for weight loss but not as filling. Better grilled fish choices are: marlin, swordfish, grilled yellow-fin tuna and baked salmon. 

24) Order sorbet, sherbet or fruit with non-dairy topping for dessert. 

25) Choose fresh fruit from the salad bar for dessert! 

For more on how I lost 100 pounds, stay tuned! 

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