No one ever said marriage is easy, but you would think agreeing on something to eat would be. It never fails our weekly tiff is over what we are going to cook for dinner or where we are going to eat. You both have to be in the same "food mood," wonder about how much money you want to spend, do you want to go and sit down, do you want to drive through and then you have to consider some nutritional value, well at least you should! Decisions, decisions! Food is not suppose to be this stressful. I assume with most, picking up something to eat is easiest. And with all of the many restaurants in town, you can always find a way to satisfy the "food mood" and the wallet. But where is the nutrition?? I have to admit it is hard to find good nutritious foods when you dine out. So, the key here is to control excessive calories.
The top five places we love to eat: Taco Casa (local Mexican fast food), McDonald's, Wing Zone, Momma Goldberg's and O'Charleys. Not what you would expect to see on a dietitians list. Well, this is where I have to compromise. Like I have said before, I love food and I understand that eating certain foods moderation is okay for me. I use some strategies when it comes to eating out.
Portion Control. I know not everyone is like me and keeps a measuring cup accessible at all times. Kidding! I use associations to help me, for example 3 oz of meat is a portion. Now, I can picture a deck of cards or I can simply look at the palm of my hand and know that is how much I should eat. Next time you get that burger or steak trim it down and save the rest for later. When all else fails order a kids meal! NOT a mighty kids meal.
Ask for water or a diet beverage. Drink it before your meal comes so you will already have a sense of satiety (fullness). 310 Calories in a 32 oz Coke. How many refills do you get?
Ask the waiter to bring the bread with the meal or not at all! 180 calories for 1 yeast roll with margarine. That's 20 minutes of jogging for the average Joe.
After placing your order ask the waiter to go ahead and bring a to-go box so you can put those extra portions away for later.
Salad dressing on the side, please. When you can, skip the creamy dressing and go for oil based. Two small ounces run about 200 calories. But, if you are like me and love ranch dressing-dip every other bite. Cut those calories right in half!
By the end of your meal you have saved yourself 600 or more calories! To all of the wives out there, it is up to us to led by example. I know it is hard to picture a man ordering dressing on the side and a diet beverage. However, I have picked up on some of the hubby's "strategies." He will order a diet beverage and often he will opt to eat more of the main portion while limiting the starchy sides, when he is full he stops and thinks about how great the left overs are going to taste as a midnight snack.
Thinking healthy while eating out is tough. This will be an ongoing struggle, with many more compromises to come. Just remember, when you and the significant other cannot think of a place to eat out consider nutrition first. This will shorten that list a lot! Please continue to read as I keep you posted on the success and failure of Newlywed Nutrition.