Going out to eat, whether you’re using plastic plates or silver spoons, can be tough on your weight—research from Tufts University shows that the more you eat out, the more likely you are to be fat, and the average restaurant entree, appetizer, and dessert each contain about 1,000 calories, according to a 2009 survey from the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
To put that in context, the US government’s 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends between 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day for men and for women the range is from 1,600 to 2,400 calories daily. Your whole daily caloric intake can almost be taken down by one meal at a restaurant!
Thankfully, men have women by their side, and they have been shown to be more conscious about what they put on their plate and in their stomachs when eating out. A 2010 study in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease showed that when women went to restaurants, they were more likely to practice good strategies for managing their caloric intake, like ordering salad dressing on the side or taking half of the meal home. We have Jim White, RD, an American Dietetic Association (ADA) spokesperson and owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios in Virginia Beach, Va., to help us sort out what to do when eating out.
Try his strategies to limit your calories when you eat out:
>> Try sharing an entrée—doing this can cut your calories in half.
>> If your spouse doesn’t want to share an entrée, divide it in half then take the rest home when you leave.
>> Starches can get you in trouble. Ask to double the vegetables and hold the potatoes or French fries.
>> Drink a couple of glasses of water before you go out to curb your appetite.
>> Don’t go out to eat while famished.
>> Bread can be a killer. Ask them to keep the bread in the kitchen.
Burgers and Beers
When you eat out at a ballgame or BBQ, there will be many tasty, unhealthy treats to tempt your man. If he’s been good and eating healthy, it’s OK to let him splurge as long as he practices moderation. If he needs some guidance, check out what Jim White has to say.
If you are heading out to a friend’s BBQ, White says your man can still stay healthy while being manly by bringing burgers made with 96-percent lean ground beef. If
he’s not too afraid of being seen without a big piece of cow on his plate, White says, “Try 93-percent lean ground turkey or even shish kebobs made with shrimp and veggies.” Make sure to put those burgers on a whole-wheat bun with low-cal condiments like olive oil mayo and dill pickles.
At the ballgame, stick with non-greasy fare: “Peanuts or popcorn are a great option,” says White. A cold beer goes perfect with a baseball game and peanuts, but be sure to persuade him to get light beer when he hits the beer line. If they have healthier choices like grilled chicken or wraps, go with those. If he’s gotta have a dog, take it out of the bun and have it that way.