Restaurant food in the United States is notorious for its huge portions.
According to experts, the supersizing phenomenon is partly responsible for the obesity epidemic we are currently facing. How can anyone lose weight when the food industry is intent on keeping us fat?
So, what can we do to avoid eating too much when faced with a huge plate filled with tempting food?
Putting half your entree in a to-go box before you start eating is a well known portion control strategy, but some say it could call attention to the fact that you have self-control issues. I don’t necessarily agree. I think it’s very human to overeat when a large amount of food is placed in front of us. There’s nothing wrong with asking for a to-go box right at the start of the meal.
Other restaurant portion control tricks include slowing down by putting the fork down between bites, pretending that the bread is three days old (or asking not to bring it to the table in the first place), and ordering a veggie, or a baked potato, instead of fries.
Another great way to avoid eating too much restaurant food is to do some research in advance: if the restaurant provides nutritional information on its website, look it up before you leave the house and plan on ordering the figure-friendly items. It is always a good idea to ask for salad dressings and sauces to be served on the side rather than generously poured over your food. Sharing an entree with a friend or with your partner is a great way to make sure you don’t overeat, and it could save you some money too.
At the end of the meal, instead of ordering dessert, my husband and I sometimes bring a bite-size candy bar with us to the restaurant. We order coffee or tea and accompany it with our tiny, just-the-right-size dessert. When we’re in the mood for a “real dessert” from the restaurant’s menu, we share it. Sharing restaurant food is a great portion control strategy and is well worth the extra few bucks that some restaurants charge for food sharing.
Photo credit: emdot