1. Portion sizes in American restaurants are huge! Before you start your meal you should make a pact with yourself to eat half and take half to go. If you don’t think you have the willpower to stick to your pact, you should ask that the wait staff wrap half of the meal in advance.
2. Know your menu. Some restaurants take the time and effort to add a “heart healthy” icon to low-cholesterol, low-fat, and low-sodium meals. Other restaurants add a “healthy choices” section. I always look for those first.
3. Be cautious with those appetizers – they are usually fried and loaded with fat and calories. Some exceptions are edamame, low-sodium soups, shrimp cocktails, and vegetables, as long as they’re not fried.
4. Don’t torture yourself with that bowl of chips or basket of bread – just ask that it be removed from the table!
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. If it’s not on the menu, then tell them you have an “off the menu request”.
6. When you have a choice for a side dish, choose vegetables every time. Tip: It helps to not even look at the other options, just say, “Vegetables.”
7. When you are asked how you want your meat cooked, choose one of these options: steamed, grilled, or baked.
8. Salad dressings and sodium-rich sauces are not your friend. Avoid all salad dressings, anything creamy, like hollandaise sauce. The same goes for “Cream of Broccoli” soup – it sounds healthy because it has broccoli in it, but it’s not! Creams are laden with fat and calories. Tip: If you really need a salad dressing, you can go with olive oil and vinegar on the side.
9. Limit yourself to one glass of wine. Alcohol loosens your inhibitions and sometimes this results in overeating.
10. Eat slowly, savor each bite, enjoy your company and turn off your cell phone. Don’t forget that living in the moment is part of your healthy lifestyle!
A little goes a long way! For more info about Ken, or to train with Ken go to www.kenrawlins.com