Any road warrior can attest to the weight-gaining qualities of travel – greasy diner food, late night cravings and highway boredom can all contribute to a bigger belly.
If your goal is to trim down but you can’t avoid travel fare, arm yourself with plan before scrolling the menu with these five restaurant rules for weight-loss.
Banish the Bread Basket. Or the tortilla chips at Mexican restaurants. Take preventative measures and ask your server to hold off on the bread, so you can avoid temptation completely. If you’re starving and can’t wait, order an appetizer you know is high in protein, such as shrimp cocktail. A study in Physiology & Behavior showed that people who ate a protein-heavy appetizer costumed on average 16 percent fewer entree calories than those who ate bread.
Ignore the Combo Mumbo Jumbo. At fast food restaurants, it’s guaranteed you’ll be asked if you’d like to increase the portion of your meal for just a little more money (but way more calories). Make sure to arm yourself with a firm “no” upon this request, and be proud you’re not another mindless American eater, but someone who’s increasing their health by decreasing empty calories.
Choose Your Pizza Crust Carefully. You might think that ‘skinny’ pizza must be distinguished by the toppings– actually, it’s the thickness of the crust. There are 1,002 calories in three deep-dish slices from Domino’s, before toppings. There are only 420 calories when downsized to thin crust. Amazing, but true!
Side with Simple Sides. Black beans and rice, roasted vegetables, and mixed greens are some of the nutritional powerhouses found at many restaurants, but you may have to search for them – they’re usually listed in small print on the ‘sides’ section of the menu. Don’t be afraid to break tradition and order a few sides, skipping the entree all together!
Forget About Fried Food. Full of saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and calories, free-flowing fried food is one of the reasons the U.S. population is getting bigger ever year. Try to find other delicious and nutritious substitutions: order fruit instead of onion rings, mixed greens instead of fries or baked zucchini instead of mozzarella sticks.