Did you know that restaurants actually hire food psychologists to help craft menus? The appetizers a menu offers are carefully selected items that actually trigger increased food consumption. These little traps are always high fat, high sodium items that have been scientifically proven to make people order more food, which in turn make the restaurants more money. You frequently see nachos, chicken wings, spring rolls, mozzarella sticks (a personal fave), but have you ever seen carrots and celery as an app?
The more savory dishes get the appetite cranking, ie ‘appetizers’, and you are more likely to order more high calorie, high fat meal after consuming them. Can you say Bacon cheese burger and fries with Ranch please?
So skip the apps. They’ll just make you eat more. And if you are starving, you are likely to order more and make poor choces, so look on-line ahead of time and order when you sit, or have a handful of almonds or a small slice of cheese as you walk out the door for dinner and drink a glass of water prior to eating/ordering. Studies show that a small high protein snack prior to a meal will cause you to be less hungry when you order, enable you to make healthier choices, and actually lead you to eat less.
Skip the bread. hard to do when its warm and delivered with a yummy ramekin of buttery something. But soon you’ll have an enormous plate of something you ordered and you probably don’t need the extra 300 non-nutritional calories the bread basket gives.
Substitute starches. Potatoes, pasta, breads, fries and rice, common side items, can be substituted for fruits or veggies. Instead of the rice that’s paired with your entree, ask for the veggie side; instead of mashies, swap in a side salad. You are paying for the meal, so don’t be afraid to ask for it how you want it. (or how you ‘want’ it once you’ve decided to eat a little cleaner)
Taco Bar? skip the taco shell and rice, fill your plate with lettuce, top that with beans or chicken, add salsa and onions +/- a little cheese. Save your self ~ 400 calories.
Spaghetti dinner at a friend’s house? Fill your plate with salad and use the pasta sauce (red not white) to spread all over your lettuce (subbing the salad for your pasta)
Sandwiches on offer? Remove the top slab of bread and eat an open faced sammy to save you ~ 200 calories