What I'll order is NOT your command! Or, is it? It's one of the most fun parts of dining out, isn't it? I mean, when the server shows up, exchanging greetings as he or she passes out those menus. Oh, boy! You start by perusing the appetizers. Mmmm, those spring rolls sure sound good, huh? They've got some pretty good salad choices here, too. Maybe you'll have a soup and salad, to start? You're still thinking things over and hey, you haven't even begun looking at the entrees yet! Oh, decisions, decisions...what to have? But wait, STOP!
Once you've made your dining choice, close the menu!
The next time you're dining out, don't spend too much time chatting. Once that menu lands in your hands, go to work right away making your healthy choice. Then, once you've decided, close the menu, lay it to the side or return it to your server just as soon you've made your selection. Why? Well, there's a good reason.
Researchers at the University of Chicago say that one simple move, closing the menu after choosig what you're having, increases your satisfaction with the choice you've madel. And by making that choice and quickly handing off the menu without "studying" it some more. you can actually give a hand to your weight-loss efforts. Any idea why? Hey, it shouldn't take a research scientist to figure that out. If you feel dissatisfied with the choice you've made then decide to reopen the menu, you might end up being tempted to change to a more calorie-loaded, fat-filled choice that's not going to do your weight-loss efforts any good.
In fact, if the restaurant you're planning to visit has a web site, (and these days most of them do), check out their menu online before you head there for dinner. Take your time to look over the menu, check out the healthiest choices, make it now and you'll be ready to order even before you arrive. Another good thing is that today, some restaurants also include nutritional information on their web sites. That's a great idea and if they do, you should take advantage of it. Make your choices ahead of time, calculate what they will "cost you," (calorie and fat-wise), on your FoodMover or whichever good weight-loss program you're sticking to. That way, you'll be better prepared to order a healthy, guilt-free, delicious meal ahead of time. And I'd say that makes a lot of sense!
Ask your server for an ice-cold glass of water, soon after you take your seat.
Once you've arrived at the restaurant, be sure to ask your server for an ice-cold glass of water, too. Start with a salad, (dressing on the side of course), and sip your glass of water as you enjoy your salad. You'll start filling up and feeling satisfied even before your main course arrives. And oh yeah, as far as dessert goes, order a fruit plate, maybe with a little sherbet on the side or you may even want to share a heavier dessert with someone else at the table. (Be nice and let them have a little more, if they'd like.)
See, even if you're working to lose weight, dining out can be fun and doesn't have to turn into a calorie-loading event that'll get in the way of your weight-loss plans. Just remember, after you order to close that menu in your hand and the number of calories you eat when dining out will be...at your command!