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Eat Out Without Pigging Out

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Expert tips on dining out without popping out.

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Ever wondered why the mountain of pasta sitting in front of you disappeared so quickly? Studies have shown that the larger the portion given at a restaurant, the more food a customer will eat regardless of how hungry she is.

"First of all, you need to think twice about the amount of food on your plate before you begin your meal. The plates at most restaurants are much larger than a typical dinner plate," said Momlogic friend and dietitian Diane Henderiks. "It is quite possible that you are being served two to four times the amount of a normal serving on this supersized saucer -- and this IS NOT the amount you are supposed to eat at one sitting!"

Here are Diane's top 10 tips to help you out before you dine out:

1) Familiarize yourself with healthy cooking techniques and choose foods prepared with the least amount of fat, sugar, and salt.
2) Ask for half of the meal to be wrapped up before it is served.
3) Just leave the rest of the food on your plate when you feel satisfied. Remember -- it tastes just as good on the fifth bite as it does on the 25th bite!
4) Eat slowly!
5) Don't go out to eat STARVING -- curb your appetite with a salad, piece of fruit, or cup of broth-based soup before you go out.
6) Skip the refined white bread and butter -- it's unnecessary and nutritionally void.
7) Use condiments sparingly and order sauces, gravies, and dressings on the side.
8) Request extra veggies -- steamed, of course.
9) Share an appetizer and opt for the healthier choices -- raw bar items (clams, shrimp, crabmeat, etc).
10) Don't be shy -- ask your server about cooking techniques and request items the way you want them.

Click here for a chart that represents a standard serving of what you should be eating compared to what you are actually getting when you dine out. You do the math -- it might shock you.

Listen to your body and recognize the signs that you have eaten enough. It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain it's full. The faster you eat, the more you eat. The "silly" things that your mother told you -- like putting your fork down between bites or chewing your food 20 times before swallowing -- was actually good advice, so take heed!

For more food and entertaining stories, click here.


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2 comments so far | Post a comment now
Adrienne July 28, 2008, 4:23 PM

Wonderful ideas…I feel inspired!

Daphne November 29, 2009, 8:44 PM

Yeah….If you have this many special requests…take from a waiter of 20 years…EAT AT HOME! You dietary freaks make our lives miserable..and just so you know…anyone who asks for a super ton of modifiers usually gets only a few of them…there is a menu for a reason!!!! Cook it yourself if you aren’t willing to enjoy the entire culinary experience a restaurant has gone to so much trouble to offer… geez.


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