Dec 15th, 2016
Category: Fat Burning
How to Order at a Restaurant
By, Mark Wine CSCS; NASM PT, PES, CES
Healthy eating is often neglected when eating out at restaurants. It is imperative for individuals whom eat out on a regular basis to make smart choices while reading over the menu. On the other hand, individuals whom eat out a mere one to two times per week may not need not to concern themselves with choosing a healthy meal. Home eaters generally eat healthier on a daily basis. Fortunately, for both healthy and non healthy eaters, menu choices have now begun to become healthier.
The recent demand for healthier cuisine has lead restaurants to reassess their menus. This has resulted in a reduction of fat, saturated fat, sodium, and sugar. However, numerous meals are remain listed as healthy, when in fact, they are often unhealthy and lead to excessive fat gains. A meal low in fat, sodium, and calories might be worse than meals higher in all three categories. So the question remains, how does one know which meal to choose? Knowing the hidden nutritional label in each item is often advantageous. This secret label informs you if the meal contains healthy fats that burn fat; ingredients that raise your metabolic rate; ingredients that give your meal a low glycemic value; and whether or not the meal is nutritional. However, knowing this secret label takes research and education in nutrition.
Research and case studies alike illustrate how the nutritional value of a meal pilots greater health, along with lower fat percentages, when compared to simple calorie and fat counting.
Breakfast: listed are a few examples of some menu selections and ways to order around them to enhance fat burning while maintaining health.
• Denver omelet, hash browns, bacon, toast: this is an example of a common breakfast at a restaurant. First up is the omelet. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a good idea to neglect whole eggs and choose only egg whites (if the restaurant will do it, ask for 2 eggs and 1 egg white). Egg yolks contain all of the nutritional benefit, including good cholesterol, and have been shown to reduce fat levels in numerous studies. It may be advantageous to ask for no cheese on the omelet. If you must have cheese, ask for them to use less or about 1/2 of what is normal. Second, substitute hash browns for fruit or a sweet potato hash. This substitution will aid in lowering the glycemic value of your meal while adding nutrition to your plate. Third, keep the bacon, just eat two of the four strips. One-to-two strips of bacon is plenty and will satisfy that salty craving. Lastly, choose whole wheat or whole grain bread as an alternative for sourdough or white bread.
• Pancakes: pancakes might just be the most popular breakfast. However, they are extremely high glycemic because of the white flour and sugar used to create them. Pancakes are loaded with fat as well, usually butter and egg; oil can be found in some pancakes as well. These deadly combinations will surely lead to fat increases. As an alternative, choose a mutli-grain or whole-grain pancake. Accompany the grain pancake with real maple syrup or sugar-free syrup. It is imperative to stay away from any mainstream syrup because they are a simple syrup (sugar and water) mixed with a maple extract. A heavy majority of major brand syrups use high fructose corn syrup, which is extremely high glycemic and packs on body fat.
Lunch: listed are a few examples of some menu selections and ways to order around them to enhance fat burning while maintaining health.
• Burger, fries, and a coke: this delicious fatty combination is one of the most typical lunches in America. It’s taste and ease of order makes it perfect for a quick bite. First up is the patty. Order a lean meat burger, 90/10. Select meat that comes from grass feed or local animals to enhance nutritional value, freshness and taste. Studies show women who eat red meat 1-2 times per week have a lower body fat percentage. If there is alternative lean meat choice, such as bison, order it. Second, choose anything other than French fries. Try eating baked chips that are low sodium to save yourself numerous calories, unhealthy cholesterol and nearly half the sodium intake. Lastly, stay away from soda. Soda leads to fat, diabetes, and numerous other health conditions. Choose unsweetened tea to add a kick to your day while burning fat. Choosing unsweetened green tea is advantageous. Add a packet of the natural zero calorie Stevia for added sweetness without the blood sugar spike.
• Deli Sandwich: although sandwiches are always thought of as the healthiest lunch choice, there are condiments that are added to the sandwich that negate that claim. Choose the following items: low sodium turkey, chicken, or lean roast beef on occasion; select leafy greens, onions, tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, and any other fresh ingredient; dressings should consist of mustards and light vinaigrettes. Avoid the following on your sandwich: regular lunch meat, fatty beef or pork, and meatballs; shun caramelized onions, pickles or any other pickled veggie; avoid mayo, honey mustard, aioli, or any other full fat dressing. Cheese can be added to a sandwich if limited. Ask for one slice instead of three slices of cheese.
Dinner: listed are a few examples of some menu selections and ways to order around them to enhance fat burning while maintaining health.
• Mexican Food: eating Mexican food at an authentic Mexican restaurant tastes unbelievable and can be even more enticing eat more than once per week. The grease, cheese, fried chips, salsa, and so many other food items make anyone’s pallet salivate. However, nearly everything you order on the menu will lead to extra belly fat. Follow these tips: ask for corn tortillas instead of flour anytime you can; eat a handful of chips only and do not ask for a re-fill on the basket; order fajitas and ask for oil free cooking; avoid the sour cream at all costs; order fresh black or pinto beans, never refried; ask for no rice and extra beans in place; lastly, order fish or grilled chicken tacos if possible.
• Italian Food: Northern Italian cooking is known for its heavy cream and butter based sauces. Southern Italy is more coastal and highlights the freshness or lightness of the ingredients. Either way, there may be nothing more comforting than a heavy portion of Bolognese (meat sauce) with some fresh noodles. Or Bolognese served within a large portion of lasagna. On the lighter side, there may be nothing more delightful than a fresh bowl of linguine with a pomodoro sauce (tomato). Choose to eat these items in limited quantity. Eat them merely a couple times per month in restaurants. Order pomodoro sauce, not cream sauce, while choosing lean meat and/or seafood. If you are a cook, prepare these items at home and choose lean meat, low sodium canned or fresh tomatoes, and whole grain pasta. These three at home alternatives will cut the meals fat and sodium levels by over 60%, while making the meal low glycemic in value.
Restaurants have become grossly obsessed with sodium and fat. Many chefs believe that in order to provide flavor to a meal you must use full fat items and add salt to everything. This cannot be further from the truth. We are far removed from healthy eating being brown rice, chicken, and plain veggies. Those foods are flavorless, bland, and no fun to eat. With countless healthy recipes on the internet, which often bring flavor while using less salt and fat, healthy eating has never tasted and felt so good.