Whether you’re trying for a whole new you or just working to shed five pounds before bikini season, eating out is always tricky. Nothing can de-rail your intentions to get healthy faster than a split-second compromise in the drive-thru lane. Here are some of the tips I’ve found to keep me on track. That way, I can save my splurges for something I’ll really appreciate -- rather than a mediocre fast-food craving.
• Coffee shops are hidden calorie culprits. Order a shot of espresso for a caffeine jolt rather than a fancy coffee. Or, better yet, opt for water and the Protein Bistro Box from Starbucks. That way you’ll get a satisfying meal rather than a 500 calorie drink without any nutrition.
• Skip the soda and drink water instead
• For breakfast on the run, order an egg-white dish. I love Starbucks’ wheat english muffin with egg whites and Subway’s egg-white wraps. To make it even better, treat the wrap like a napkin; just peel it back and enjoy the eggs and veggies without the carbs. No cheese please!
• There’s always grilled chicken on the menu. Chose it over non-lean protein or anything breaded. No bread please!
• When picking a side, go for a salad over fries. Try it with no dressing.
• If you really want to have the dressing, watch out for the hidden calories and fat! Try a “dry” salad or with oil and vinegar. Worst case, order dressing on the side or one pouch.
• If you’re craving a burger, go for it; just ask for it without the bun and cheese. If you need more protein, order two and toss the bread.
• Fill up on proteins and lentils. One of my favorite dishes is a flank steak with lentils at Luma on Park Avenue. It’s a tasty meal without a buttery, fattening sauce.
• Seared tunas are always healthy choices.
• To control portion sizes, order an appetizer rather than an entree meal.
• If you are craving one of the entree meals, just ask your server to bring you half of the dish and box the other to go.
• Supermarkets are great for on-the-go healthy meals. Stop by the deli counter for a few slices of turkey and then hit the produce area for fresh fruit.
• When getting a sub, ask if you can make it a lettuce wrap instead of having the bread.
• If you’re having Mexican, you can always ask for your burrito to be made as a salad. Skip the tortilla and eat it with a fork.
• Canned tuna is a quick, healthy lunch option to keep on hand.
• Remember to take your time eating. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to know that you are full. If you slow down, it may take less than you think to make you feel satisfied.
When you’re hungry, it’s easy to fall for the tempting pictures on the menu or the delicious treat your co-worker just ordered. That’s why it’s best to prep your food before you arrive, set your determination and keep your ultimate goals in mind.