8 Tips for Eating Out
1. Pre-plate your food at the buffet
Research by Brian Wansink, PhD, has found that when people load their plate at a buffet one time
only, they eat about 14 percent less food than when they take smaller portions and go back for more. You don’t have to sample everything! Take the stuff you want and be done with it.
2. Practice “hari hachi bu”
In Okinawa, one of the half-dozen places on the globe where extraordinary numbers of healthy centenarians live, there is a saying : “hari hachi bu.” It means push away from the table when you’re about 80 percent full. Practice hari hachi bu, and leave the table before you’re stuffed!
3. Say “No, thank you”
When I’m starving, I’ll eat the basket the bread comes in, the bread doesn’t stand a chance. It’s usually the worst and least nutritious thing on the table, the worst thing to eat first and the thing we tend to fill up on before the good stuff comes. When the waiter comes with the bread basket, I send it right back!
4. Split stuff
One of the things I frequently do at restaurants is order one dish from each course, soup, appetizer and entrée, and then split it all family style with my dining partner. (This also makes for a cozy social evening.) Alternatively, try ordering some
offbeat combinations like two appetizers and a salad, or soup and appetizer. With today’s restaurant portions, a “small” meal like that is more than enough to fill you up.
5. Hare dessert
If you can’t resist dessert, and if you can’t make yourself order berries, at least split the dessert with one (or two) other people. In some restaurants it’s almost a point of pride to serve obscenely large portions of things like Death By Chocolate. Ask for three spoons (or forks) and let
everyone have a taste. Some of these desserts are big enough to provide a nice little sample for everyone at the table, and sometimes that’s all you need!
6. Always start with protein
Protein will stabilize your blood sugar and help you
feel full faster, so begin the meal with the protein first. (That means the fish, eggs, beef, chicken, pork or turkey.) Many people find that eating the protein first acts as a kind of built-in appetite control for the rest of the meal.
7. Double up on vegetables
Whenever I order a main course in a restaurant and it automatically comes with a starch like potatoes or rice plus a veggie, I ask the waiter to hold the starch and double up on the vegetables. The vegetables taste great with butter on them, something you do not have to avoid as long as you can tolerate dairy!
8. Salad before going out
Research by Barbara Rolls, PhD, at the University of Pennsylvania shows that eating a small green
salad or a cup of soup before the meal caused people to spontaneously eat significantly less over the course of the meal. Low calorie, broth-based soups are the best for appetite control, think chunky vegetable or minestrone!