Heading out of town? If you travel a lot, you know how tricky it can be to stick with your eating plan. But just because you're in a hotel or a restaurant doesn't mean you can't eat well. Follow these tips and you'll be good to go!
Eat As You Would At Home. Control the size of your portions at each meal. Portion control can make – or break – your dieting efforts, especially with restaurants supersizing meals or fad diet plans that encourage unlimited amounts of protein or other foods.
If Your Order Arrives and It Is Enough for 3 People, Only Eat 1 Sensible Portion. If you can have a fridge in your hotel room or are staying with friends, you can ask the waiter to box up the extras before you even start to eat so you won't be tempted – and you can enjoy the leftovers as a guilt-free meal on another day. Better yet, ask about portions when you order and then see if your friends want to share.
Snack Before You Go. If you know you'll be tempted by rich foods, have a healthy snack before dinner. You'll feel fuller and will be less likely to indulge once you arrive at the restaurant.
Know the Lingo. Avoid menu items that are described using the words au gratin, crispy, fried, tempura, alfredo, cheesy, butter, butter sauce, crunchy, beer-battered, crusted, pan fried, or creamy. These are buzz words that signal major calories. Stick with choices that are baked, broiled, poached, or steamed instead.
Substitute. If a dish comes with fries, don't hesitate to ask for it with a salad, baked potato, or a steamed veggie instead. Likewise, if a meat or veggie is prepared with lots of heavy oils, ask about lighter preparations or choose another dish. Restaurants want to make you happy (you are the customer, after all), so chances are they'll be willing to help.
Share. If you are dining with a friend, split an entrée, an appetizer, or even a dessert! It is a simple way to cut calories and not feel deprived.
Known as "America's favorite fitness expert," Denise Austin has sold over 24 million exercise videos and authored more than 12 books on health and fitness. As a worldwide fitness phenomenon, she has created a loyal audience with her two major television shows: Getting Fit, which ran for 10 years on ESPN and continued under the new name Denise Austin's Daily Workout, and Fit & Lite, both on Lifetime.
Denise served two terms on the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. She has testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, helped launch the new food guidance system of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and was recently honored by Woman's Day magazine and the American Heart Association with the Red Dress Award for her contributions to heart health. Married for over 25 years to Jeff Austin, they have two teenage daughters, Kelly and Katie.
Side Effect: Skinny is exclusively available for purchase at www.thebooknook.com as of November 26, 2012.