(Article) Does Eating Out MAKE or BREAK Your Fitness Goals?
Does Eating Out MAKE or
BREAK Your Fitness Goals?
By: Terry Williams, CSCS
Okay, so let’s say you’re on a date. A very hot date. At a restaurant that has nothing to offer that in any way resembles the type of food you’ve been sticking to for the past week in desperate hopes of fitting into that little black dress or fly unit you have on in this nerve-wracking moment. WHAT TO DO?! Just one “cheat meal” can’t be too bad, right? Or, can what you eat right now actually make you appear bloated, soft, saggy and sloppy just moments after you eat it? Let’s explore the topic and make it plain.
Any processed food is guaranteed to give you fewer important nutrients than your body wants, and often these foods dump loads of sodium into your system, which in turn brings on that bloated and sloppy feeling. Spotting foods that cause bloating is easy: If it’s heavily salted or saucy, you’re in trouble! Try minimizing things that are added for flavor but can harm your cuts.
How do you find foods that aren’t processed? Your best bet is to think simple. Think natural. Everyone knows that plants and animal meats come straight from nature for example, but also that alfredo sauce, hot sauce and countless other creamy or savory toppings do nothing but add unnecessary saturated fats to that dish you crave. I know, I look like the bad guy for crashing your date night, right? Time to resolve that! Follow these basic recommendations for a helpful guide to eating wisely, even when not controlling food quality in your kitchen. Eating out doesn’t have to mean breaking your nutrition plan. Even though most restaurants aren’t heralded for health food, they generally offer some less harmless options, which may help you to find the perfect balance between having a great night out and staying true to your fitness goals.
Restaurant guide for healthy eating:
1.) Go for the chicken! Just about every restaurant has simple chicken breast dishes. This is your shot at selecting one of the leanest protein sources available! If you’re looking to avoid excess sauces and sodium, try a basic chicken breast-over-pasta or chicken ceasar type of dish, and simply ask for the sauce on the side. This gives you control over how much sauce is actually added. Again, this doesn’t make it health food, but it beats a gravy-covered, greasy chicken fried steak anyday!
2.) Avoid breads. Most breads in restaurants are offered for flavor, but certainly not for fuel. White breads, although more tasty to most food fanatics, is nutritionally drained. The great nutrients of whole grain bread are sucked out & you’re eating the excess stuff that offers no benefit. These are just empty calories that find their way to your hips and gut. Cutting this out helps you side-step not only the dreaded it is, but also the long-lasting fatty deposits that would cost you some serious cardio miles later.
3.) Be real with yourself. This one’s self-explanatory and simple. Many people who eat poorly still comment that they “shouldn’t be eating this”. The truth is, even without a guide or an expert’s opinion, you know on sight what you shouldn’t have. Simply giving your conscience a fair listen goes a long way!
I hope this helps and encourages someone. Until next time, eat fit my friends!