How to Lose Weight & Healthy Eating Plans

Weight Loss Plans, Healthy Eating, Gyms Near Me & Fitness Centers

Healthy eating at restaurants can be just as fun as eating meals laden with high fat and high caloric content. Knowing how to lose weight while still enjoying meals out can be tricky, so follow these seven secrets for weight loss success. Make a healthy eating game plan before you go out, and consider eating a light snack such as an apple or carrot sticks and a dollop of hummus before leaving so that you aren’t overly hungry when tempted by calorie-heavy menu options. Stick with your weight loss plan, and if you do decide to splurge a little at the restaurant, work off those extra calories at Gold’s family fitness center.

7 Surprising Secrets to Eating Out Healthy

From Researchers are discovering simple, unexpected tricks that help us make better menu choices (without even realizing it).

Here’s some food for thought: A typical restaurant meal contains more than 1,100 calories. If you’re like the average American, you eat out five times a week—which could wreak havoc on your diet. But before you vow to brown-bag it forever, know that it doesn’t have to be this way. Food economists and consumer behavior experts have been studying the habits of restaurant-goers to identify why some leave happily sated and others fall into a food coma. They’ve learned that menu choices may have as much to do with where you’re sitting as what you’re craving. A host of factors—from the room’s lighting to the height of your table—can encourage you to make more nutritious decisions. Here’s how to set yourself up to enjoy a waist-friendly meal to the fullest.

Grab A Health-Minded Pal

Research shows that when we eat in groups, we tend to order similar types of food: Everyone opts for a salad, say, or most of the table indulges in burgers. Food economists from Oklahoma State University found that diners who caved to this subtle peer pressure also tended to be happier with their choice. Looking for dinner dates? Round out your guest list with friends more likely to get a side of farro than fries.

Go Somewhere Romantic

Setting the mood seems to matter as much in a restaurant as in the bedroom. When researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign replaced a fast-food restaurant’s fluorescent lights and rock-and-roll soundtrack with softer incandescent bulbs and mellow jazz, study participants ate 18% less food. They also ate more slowly and rated the food as more enjoyable.

Request A Table Near The Window

“If you want to stack the deck in your favor, think twice about where you sit,” says Brian Wansink, Ph.D., director of Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab and author of Slim by Design. When his team compared receipts and table locations at 27 restaurants, they found that patrons at high-top tables tended to order more fish and fewer desserts, and diners near the window were 80% more likely to have salads. “Maybe a high table makes you feel more in control, and sitting near a window feels more public,” he says. “The why isn’t clear. But as we say in the lab: If you want to be skinny, do what skinny people do.”

Sit Far From The Bar

When you’re in view of the television, it’s tempting to watch between bites. But eating while distracted causes people to consume more—not only at that meal but later in the day as well, according to a British study. And TV isn’t the only temptation you’ll fight near the bar. The Cornell research team found that groups of four perched within two tables of the booze drank an average of three more drinks than patrons just one table farther away.

Ask For A Tall Glass

We tend to underestimate how much liquid is in short tumblers—which is why bartenders typically pour 27% more alcohol into short glasses than tall ones, according to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research. The flip side of this optical illusion: By sipping your caipirinha from a tall glass, you’ll have fewer calories without feeling deprived.

At A Buffet, Make A Beeline For The Fruit

“The first food a person selects triggers what they take next,” wrote researchers in a 2013 Plos One study on buffet patrons. For their experiment, they split 124 breakfast diners into two groups: One navigated a bar that started with cheesy eggs and ended with fruit; the other group faced a buffet table in the reverse order. Of the people who encountered cheesy eggs first, 76% served themselves the (deliciously gooey) calorie bomb—compared with 29% of people in the fruit-first group. And those who took cheesy eggs at the start were more likely to pile on bacon and potatoes. At dinner? Head to the salad station first.

Think Miles, Not Calories

Calorie counts on a menu are a good start. But a 2014 study found that diners are even more motivated to order healthy when those numbers are translated into miles of physical activity. Every 100 calories is roughly equivalent to jogging one mile. The next time you’re waffling between a 600-calorie sandwich and an 800-calorie pizza slice, try thinking about the two extra miles it would take to run off the slice. (If you’re still craving the mozzarella and doughy goodness, it’s worth the calorie splurge.)

Get a jumpstart on healthy eating when dining out by following these seven secrets. And learn how to lose weight while eating out by asking a nutrition counselor at a Gold's fitness club near you for more tips and tricks. Part of your healthy eating plan on the day you eat out should include eating foods with less sodium in your other meals and snacks because many restaurant foods are high in sodium, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. And focus on your weight loss plan when ordering by choosing healthier side dishes, and asking for any special sauces or salad dressings to be on the side.

One way to ensure healthy eating when dining out is to look up the menu of the restaurant online, and pre-select your meal from home where you have time to consider the calorie and fat content of each option. For how to lose weight while dining out, follow these seven secrets, and consider ordering water or unsweetened tea instead of calorie-laden soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. Water is key to healthy eating plans, and has been shown to increase your metabolism by 30%, according to a study from the Franz-Volhard Clinical Research Center and Helios-Klinikum-Berlin, Medical Faculty of the Charité, Humboldt-University in Germany. Your weight loss plan shouldn’t feel like a burden, though, so if you are really craving something on the menu, go for it and plan to exercise a little longer the next day at Gold’s health clubs near you.