The Ultimate Dining Out Guide

Do you love to eat out? I know I do. Well, here is some good news. You can still eat out and lose weight. Sounds impossible, huh? It’s not as difficult as you think. Just follow these tips.

(1)  Research – If you don’t want to break the bank, eating out healthy requires a little forethought, planning, and self-discipline. Most restaurants have their menus online with nutrition facts. I use a free app on my phone called ‘Restaurants.’ This iPhone app has a list of numerous restaurants and the calorie count of different items on the menu at that restaurant. If you know the restaurant you are going to has a dessert you absolutely can’t go without, you can cut back during other parts of your meal. I would always pick out my meal ahead of time and log it in ‘myfitnesspal’ journal, which is another iPhone app. This allowed me to keep track of how much I could eat without consuming too many calories.

(2)  Bread – Ask your waiter/waitress to bring out the bread with your meal. Often many consumers fill up on unnecessary calories from bread and butter before their meal and then turn around and eat what they ordered. If it comes with you meal it makes it easier to stick to only one piece.

(3) Alcohol – For those of you that are of age, be careful about ordering that glass of wine or bottle of beer with your dinner. Like I have said before, the empty calories in alcohol can add up. So if you decide to drink with your meal, skip dessert. You can have one or the other, but I suggest not having both.

(4) Salads – Order smart salads. Ask for your dressing on the side, it could save you 100 extra calories. Salads piled with cheese, croutons, and dried fruit can take away from the healthy aspect of having a salad before a meal, so don’t be afraid to customize your salad to make it healthier.

(5)  Main Food Choices – Go for fish or lean meats and pick healthy sides! Order vegetables instead of French fries and you’ll save big time. Often restaurants have a section of the menu dedicated to those health nuts, so use this to your advantage.

(6) Portions –  Decide how much you are going to eat before you start eating. When eating out, one plate of pasta could be enough food to feed you for three different meals. Maybe box up half of your meal ahead of time; if it’s not in front of you, you won’t feel the need to eat it.

(7) Desserts – Share your dessert. You can still satisfy that sweet tooth, but I wouldn’t suggest keeping that massive slice of cheesecake to yourself, well unless it’s your birthday then go right ahead. 😉 If you eat out every night, keep desserts to once or twice a week. Here is another helpful tip. When ordering coffee ask for nonfat milk instead of using whole milk or cream.

(8)  Order Errors – Don’t be afraid to send a dish back if it didn’t come as you ordered. If your salad didn’t come with the dressing on the side, speak up. Don’t sabotage a week’s worth of hard work at the gym. The goal is to leave any restaurant feeling satisfied.

Train yourself to crave healthy foods! Image


Add Color To Your Life

Why, you ask? Because it could add years to your life! Scientists across the country have discovered several health benefits associated with the natural pigments that make fruits and vegetables so colorful. Who knew eating bright colored foods would help protect your body from common diseases and illnesses as you age.  Below are a few of those discoveries.


The color red reduces the risk of several diseases including heart disease, prostate cancer, and other types of cancer.


The color yellow will protect you against macular degeneration, the number-one cause of blindness in the elderly.


Eating orange foods will lower your cholesterol aiding in the prevention of heart disease. The color orange also helps reduce the risk of stroke.


Adding a simple green salad at dinner will help prevent cancer.


The color blue will help protect your memory and motor functions as you age.


Finally, protect your heart by adding purple to your diet! The color purple also helps prevent heart disease.


Need ideas? This link has got you covered. It has a list of food suggestions for every color group!


11 Misleading Food Labels

Are you making smart decisions at the supermarket? What I am about to bring to your attention may surprise you. Products that include fat free or all natural may not be as healthy as you think. Following are some of the most common and misleading phrases used on food products:

  • All natural – The FDA doesn’t define this term. As long as a food doesn’t contain added colors, artificial flavors, or “synthetic substances,” manufactures can label their food product all natural. That means a food labeled natural may contain preservatives or be injected with sodium. Get this “Some natural products will have high fructose corn syrup and companies will argue that since it comes from corn, it’s healthy.” Stephan Gardner, director of litigation at the Center of Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) WRONG
  • Multigrain – Next time look for the words whole grain or 100% whole wheat. Multigrain just means the product is made with several different grains, that DOES NOT mean they are always the healthy ones. Whole grains have more fiber and other nutrients than processed foods. Often processed foods have been stripped of the healthiest portion of the grain.
  • No sugar added – Watching calories and carbs? Beware. No sugar added products might contain added ingredients like maltodextrin, a carbohydrate. These simple sugars are sure to raise your blood sugar. Also, no sugar added doesn’t guarantee that the product is calorie free either. Remember some food contain natural sugars such as: fruit, milk, cereal, and vegetables.
  • Sugar free – Often times a sugar free version is no better than the regular version. Sometimes it might even have more calories. Sugar free products have less than 0.5 grams of sugar per serving, BUT they still contain a bountiful of calories and carbohydrates from other sources!
  • Zero trans fat – If a product contains less than 0.5 grams per serving, manufactures are allowed to claim that their product contains no trans fat. So watch out you still might get a good amount of trans fat added to your diet if you don’t stick to a single serving!
  • Fat free – We’ve all heard of the dangers of saturated and trans fat. Fat-free may be free of those fats, but may contain just as many calories as full-fat versions.
  • Light – To be considered light, the fat content has to be 50% less than the amount found in comparable products. That doesn’t mean it’s nutritional. Manufacturers have been known to use the term to refer to flavor rather than the ingredients.
  • Made with real fruit – A product may be made with real fruit, but it may not contain very much actual real fruit. Companies don’t have to disclose the amount they actually use.
  • Organic – Organic may just be placed on foods to make you think it’s healthy. Organic foods can still be packed in fat, calories, and sugar. Organic just means 95% of the food was grown or processed with out fertilizers or pesticides.
  • 2% milk – Whole milk only contains 3.25% fat……
  • Serving size – Products may base their nutritional information on unrealistic serving sizes to make it seem healthier.


Avoid the Freshman 15

Do you think you have what it takes to avoid the inevitable freshman 15? Well here are some tips that just might help you out:

  • Make it a goal to go to the gym 3-5 times a week. We get up and go to class regularly, so why not make working out a part of your routine? Treat it like a class you can’t miss!
  • Keep healthy snacks in your room. If unhealthy food is easily accessible, you’re more likely to munch away on it and pack on those undesired pounds. If you’re in the dinning hall, why not grab a piece of fruit on the way out to snack on later?
  • Avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. It’s just empty calories that you’ll regret later.
  • Keep a water bottle handy! Drinking water will help you differentiate hunger from thirst. Not drinking enough water throughout the day may cause you to mistake thirst for hunger and you might end up eating more than you actually need.
  • Make smart decisions in the cafeteria. Make sure to include lots of fruits and veggies on your plate! Fish and grilled chicken are great sources of protein. Pasta lover? Eat whole grain! Finally, I know we can’t always control that ice cream craving, so treat yourself to a small cone every once in a while, but don’t make it a daily habit!
  • Avoid eating those greasy foods late at night. Your stomach will thank you.
  • Eat 5-6 small meals a day instead of two larger ones. It will keep you at your peak all day long.
  • Don’t skip breakfast. Study shows that those who eat breakfast actually eat less throughout the day than those who don’t.

Want to know some healthy alternatives to the top 10 college dorm foods? Check out this site! Enjoy!