With multiple responsibilities weighing down on us, it is no wonder that 25% of Americans eat fast food at least once a day. While convenient, how does eating out factor into a healthy meal plan? The key is to know what to order when eating out.
At Vida180, we understand you want to eat out from time to time, that is why we incorporate fast food and restaurant choices into our meal plans. We take away the guesswork by providing you with the guidance to navigate through the most popular restaurants and fast-food menus. Get started with the meal plan that is so flexible you won’t miss a thing!
A busy lifestyle needs flexibility
You have a busy schedule, between work and family, it is difficult to find time to prepare meals. If you want to eat out, we offer you the tools to make wise choices at some of the most popular restaurants. Simply click and add your restaurant or fast food meal to the plan. The nutritional breakdown will be calculated for you – it is that simple!
Browse our recipe and restaurant selections. Still don’t see your favorite meals or restaurants? Send us an email or give our nutritionists a call to add your selection.
Make wise choices
The key to eating out is to make healthy choices. Most dining out establishments are becoming increasingly health conscience and are now offering lower calorie and fat menu items. If you are not careful, it is easy to consume the majority of your daily intake of calories, carbohydrates, fat, and sodium in one meal.
Try to pre-plan what you will order. Check the nutritional breakdown on your Vida180 meal planner. If you have not pre-planned, request the nutritional breakdown. Most fast-food establishments and restaurants do have them, you just have to ask.
When available, choose proteins that are grilled in place of fried. Select the smallest portion size whenever possible. Select a simple hamburger patty minus the cheese and bacon. Nix the regular soda and choose diet or water instead. Avoid sides such as French fries and onion rings. Choose a side salad or fruit in their place.
One clear winner at most fast-food restaurants is salads – but beware. Salads can be minefields of hidden calories and fat. Typical diet busters are crispy chicken, croutons, cheese, bacon, and full-fat salad dressings. These can be easily remedied by selecting grilled proteins, removing unnecessary non-nutritive toppings, and selecting low-fat dressing. You will be left with a filling high protein lunch that will put you closer to your weight loss goals.
The key to enjoying take out is moderation
Can you enjoy your favorite take-out while watching your weight? Absolutely! Take-out pizza and Chinese are family favorites. Watching portion size makes all the difference.
Pair one slice of pizza with a large green salad. Order a pie with light cheese. Load pizza with vegetable topping to increase nutritional value. Many pizza restaurants offer thin-crust pizzas which are lower in carbohydrates than their regular crust or Sicilian counterparts.
Skip fried appetizers when placing a Chinese order. Start the meal with a broth-based vegetable soup. Choose steamed protein dishes chock full of vegetables. Substitute brown rice for white if available.
With Vida180, there is no need to give up fast food, restaurants and takeout in order to meet your weight loss goals.