The Skinny on Restaurant Eating

Oxygen magazine’s executive editor, Diane Hart, recently released  Pick It, Kick It, a book that weighs in on American eating habits. She told me that , “Eating right doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive – it is a simple matter of making the right choices and that comes from knowing what foods are better than others.” Sound simple, right? She was kind enough to offer a few tips for my Power of Slow readers on how to eat mindfully.
Fact: Since the 1970’s, portion sizes in restaurants have increased up to five times. And, with the USDA reporting a 22 percent increase of added fats and oils, Americans are getting more than they pay for.
Follow Diane Hart’s 10 tips to ‘know the skinny’ at any restaurant:

1.    Stick to restaurants known for their healthy food options
2.    To cut down on fat intake, order low-fat salad dressing on the side, and then dip your fork between bites to get the flavor without the extra fat
3.    To cut calories while keeping taste and nutrition, mix your OJ and other fruit juices with equal amount of mineral water, plain water or seltzer and give the other half to your dining partner
4.    Avoid bagels and muffins: Portion sizes have doubled in size and calories over the years, while muffins contain the bad stuff
5.    Swap artificial sweeteners for honey, a half-teaspoon worth is just the right sweetness
6.    Takes up to 20 minutes for food to digest: chew food thoroughly and slow down
7.    Don’t “save your calories” by skipping meals: Not only will you slow down your metabolism, but you will be famished by the meal and most likely overeat
8.    Anything “creamed,” “scalloped,” “au gratin,” “sautéed” or “breaded” is most likely loaded with fat: Go for “smoked,” “barbecued,” “roasted,” “grilled” or “broiled”
9.    Buffet-Style Dining: Avoid it but tips if you must-Do an initial walk around and find vegetables and other clean etc., next get the small plate and load up on the proteins and other clean foods. Watch out for sauces and fried foods, skip breads and pastas
10.    Portion control: Most people underestimate the calories in a meal by 150 to 400 calories; box off half of your meal for leftovers, less calories and two meals out of one saves money

Remember the power of slow principle: You are what, and how, you eat!

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  2. Valerie Garner

    October 28, 2010 at 12:03 am

    Great tips! Portion control is SO difficult at restaurants!

    1. powerofslow

      October 28, 2010 at 5:39 am

      There’s a restaurant I know of in Asheville that specializes in portion control. In fact, the owner recently sold her Yum Yum dishes company to friends of mine.

      I just love these ceramic dishes!

      Warm regards, Christine Louise Hohlbaum, author The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World (St. Martin’s Press, Fall 2009) Now blogging for Psychology Today!

      Int’l: 011-49-177-863-8661 | US: 917-477-3788 Follow me on Twitter at: powerofslow Be a FB fan of The Power of Slow!

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