• How to Dine Out and Stick to Your Healthy Eating Habits

    February 2, 2013

    Good morning! Happy Saturday!

    Here’s my second post for GNC’s “Total Lean Challenge.” For this one, I was asked to share my favorite kind of cardio exercise, which, I’m sure you already know, is CrossFit. I’m a tad in love with it!

    I_love_CrossFit_

    Since I love CrossFit so much, I decided to create a CrossFit-inspired workout for you guys. For this workout, all you need is a kettlebell and a clock or timer. Set the timer for 15 minutes and start with the first exercise, which is 15 Kettlebell Swings. Complete all 15 reps before moving onto the Air Squats. Once you have completed 20 Air Squats, pick up the Kettlebell and bang out 15 more reps. Continue to move from one exercise to the next until you complete all 6 exercises, which counts as one round. Keep moving for 15 minutes and see how many rounds you can do in that amount of time.

    15-Minute_Kettlebell_Workout_001

    I hope this workout inspired you to get moving and spend some time doing your favorite type of cardio—either indoors, outdoors, or with a group. It doesn’t really matter—just be sure to get your heart rate up!

    TLC_SatWorkoutPlan

    How to Dine Out and Stick to Your Healthy Eating Habits

    The second part of my post involves tips for dining out and sticking to my healthy eating habits. When I dine out, I want to enjoy the food I’m served, so I order whatever I’m in the mood for at that moment. Sometimes, it’s grilled salmon on top of a bright green salad and other times it’s a juicy bacon cheeseburger with French fries. For me, sticking with my healthy habits isn’t so much about what I eat (I think there’s room for all foods in one’s diet), but more about the portion sizes I consume. With that said, here are my go-to tricks for keeping my portions (and calories) in check while dining out!

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    “2 out of 3 rule”

    My top trick for dining out is what I call the “2 out of 3 rule,” which allows me to indulge (within reason!) by picking two splurges from a meal’s typical options: the breadbasket, a cocktail, or dessert. I don’t want to miss out on any of the fun of dining out, so I allow myself to enjoy two out of three of these choices. So maybe I’ll pass on the breadbasket, but I’ll enjoy a cocktail and share a dessert with my husband at the end of the meal. This method allows me to indulge, but not overdo it.

    Taste the appetizers

    The appetizers at the beginning of the meal are supposed to stimulate one’s appetite for the main meal, but they’re not suppose to be a meal themselves. Do you get what I’m saying? So I keep this in mind and only taste two or three bites of each appetizer served at the table and then put my fork down to save room (and calories) for the main course. If I consume too much at the beginning of the meal, I inevitably end up overeating when more delicious plates are placed in front of me.

    Keep It Simple

    When I’m looking at the menu and considering what to order, I try to look for entrees without a huge, long description. I’m sure I’d love a bacon, Swiss cheese burger with sun-dried tomato aioli on a cheddar-crusted jalapeno bun, but I know a plain burger (ok, cheeseburger) with guacamole (and, ok, maybe bacon) is a more waist-friendly option. Of course, I want to enjoy what I order, so I make sure my meal includes a few fun and tasty options, but not ALL of them.

    Visualize half of my entrée

    As you probably know, restaurant portions are usually supersized, so once my entrée arrives, I visualize a line down the center of my plate. I eat half the food and then save the rest to pack up with me to take home for later. This way, I don’t end up eating too much, and I have tasty leftovers for the next day’s lunch!

    Slow down and focus on what I’m eating

    You’ve probably heard it takes someone about 20 minutes to recognize that they’re full. With this in mind, I slow my eating pace and really focus on my meal when I dine out. Chewing my food, tasting and savoring it instead of inhaling it, makes the meal so much more pleasurable. Slowing down also helps me better read my body’s hunger signals so I don’t overeat. A little trick I use when dining out: Try not to be the first one finished eating!

    Question of the Day

    What are your tips for sticking with your healthy eating habits when you dine out?

    Fitfluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own.

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    { 70 comments… read them below or add one }

    Sue February 3, 2013 at 8:00 am

    I like reading your posts about crossfit. I’m starting back again after having hip surgery. One day, I hope to be where you are now!

    Reply

    Kat February 3, 2013 at 9:13 am

    In your post you say you visualize eating half your plate when dining out and aim to eat that. Doesn’t that go against natural hunger cues and just stopping when you are full? It seems like purposefully eating half your plate is thinking about it way too much. Thoughts?

    Reply

    Alyssa February 3, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    I think the biggest and most important tip is to SLOW DOWN!! I always scarf my food down…almost as if it is a mission I need to complete. I need to enjoy my food and savor every bite. I think this is what we call mindfulness :-)

    Reply

    Christina @ The Beautiful Balance February 3, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    I LOVE kettlebell workouts and I can’t wait to try yours tonight!

    Reply

    Aurielle @ Will2Wellness February 3, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    I try to remember to have a cocktail OR dessert; never both!

    Reply

    Amy Rawlinitis February 3, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    I started reading your blog a week or so ago and I check it everyday for new recipes and fitspiration. I recently gained A LOT of weight and nearly doubled my body fat percentage :( X a million. One night I was looking for an inspirational weight loss blog and stumbled across CNC! Well I definetly got more than I bargained for and I’ve been reading your old posts when I need more! I even started the Crossfit 2 week beginner program from Michael Ashcroft. I could literally watch the what is crossfit video 20 times a day. It’s so inspiring. I’m planning to join a box on my 25th birthday in 2 months (giving myself some time to make my push ups not so pitiful.) Any who.. THANK YOU!

    Reply

    Amy Rawlinitis February 3, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    And the Tough Mudder, I NEED to do that too. Maybe not this year, if I do, it’ll be Vermont in October. Next year, most definitely!

    Reply

    Meghan February 4, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Happy Birthday, Carrots N’ Cake! Thanks for keeping me honest, motivated and entertained during the last year I’ve been reading you. You are funny, inspiring and a great example of what you can do if you set your mind to it. I tried Crossfit for the first time and fell in love! It was as awesome as you say; can’t wait to get into it!

    Reply

    Kelly@BalancedDaily February 4, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    I do you’re last trick to! Trying not to be the first one done and even staying behind on eating by engaging in more conversation with people at the table is a great way to slow down. It also helps because if everyone else at the table is done when the waiter comes around to clear plates, you’ll be more likely to ask for a doggie bag to take home whatever is left on yours for later. Great tips to use, its so easy to overdo it when you eat at a restaurant.

    Reply

    She Rocks Fitness February 4, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Could you feel your arms after all of those KB swings? Goodness gracious women that looks killer. PS: your body looks rocking! Love this post. Great tips that I follow as well. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    Bay April 10, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    I tend to do the half-plate thing, too. I hate feeling full, so I’d rather eat less and grab a bite later (or share a dessert) than feel remotely bursting. By this point, I have a pretty good idea of how much food I need to eat, visually. It works for me.

    Reply

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