When I am on a diet, the idea of eating out immediately sparks a bunch of bad diet thoughts. I immediately start to think: it’s the weekend, this could be my cheat day, I’ll just eat whatever, it won’t matter. This has happened to me countless times and I’m sure you have experienced it as well. However, there is a way to manage the food categories that you do eat, so you are still on track for your weight loss goal or at the very least, not packing on those extra pounds to be burnt off later in the week. Keep reading as we discover how to eat out & still stay skinny without having to swap those extremely delicious foods with a tasteless alternative.
There are three important rules that I have when selecting what foods to eat when I am out and about. They generally have to be low in simple carbohydrates (sugar) and consist of herbs or food groups that promote fullness, a reduction in hunger and a bigger portion of food.
Sticking to these rules won’t make overeating a choice, you simply won’t feel like it. Whilst not every meal has to match the three rules, matching at least two of them can certainly help.
Stick To Foods Low In Simple Carbohydrates (Sugar)
What we eat now can certainly affect our decision on what to eat later. Sugar in particular, is known to increase hunger cravings, hinder leptin release (the feeling of being full) and can also be addictive. Studies have demonstrated that the more sugar you ingest, the greater the chance that you are going to be overweight or obese . Of more concern is the level of sugar found in everyday products.
Most low-fat labelled products contain much more sugar then their full fat alternatives. Being aware of the sugar content in your food and drink can certainly reduce those future hunger cravings, while also reducing health risks, such as type-2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
Spices, Herbs & Beverages
Certain spices, herbs and beverages possess qualities that reduce hunger and increase fullness. Foods that are made with these ingredients can make the difference when deciding on a second serving or feeling like dessert. In particular, eating foods with a higher level of spices such as cayenne pepper, hot sauce and Wasabi, have been linked to a reduction in hunger and an increase in satiety .
Furthermore, herbs such as cinnamon and ginger can help control your appetite by improving digestion, energy and blood sugar levels . As for beverages, green tea and decaffeinated coffee have also shown to help in reducing hunger and increase satiety .
Food Groups – Protein & Fiber
Foods that are high in protein or fiber have been shown to increase satiety and reduce hunger cravings. In particular, research has revealed that protein is the more filling macronutrient when compared to both carbohydrate and fat . Furthermore, studies have also indicated that the type of protein can additionally enhance those filling effects . Whey protein, for example, demonstrates a greater stomach-filling effect then both soy and casein.
On the other hand, fiber can help fill bigger portions of food with carbohydrates that aren’t easily absorbed by the body. These carbohydrates don’t count towards your daily calorie intake and further assist with digestion . Whilst there is some conflicting research on the positive effects of fiber on satiety and hunger, it can naturally fill food with zero additional calories, which means more food on your plate minus those extra calories.
So the next time you decide to eat out, try to avoid those low-fat options and instead go for its full fat alternative. While it may sound counterproductive, it can help stop those future food binges or hunger cravings. Make sure your food choice isn’t packed with added sugar and consists of a good amount of protein and fiber. If you like a bit of spice, add it to your food and maybe have a green tea or decaffeinated coffee to wash it down.
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Author The Author : Thomas Jought. I have always been interested in health & fitness, training off and on for almost 7 years. In-between training I have become a certified personal trainer. With an avid interest in fitness, weight loss nutrition and supplementation.