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TEXARKANA, Ark. –
How many times have you eaten out this week? Include breakfast at the drive thru,
lunch from the vending machine, and take out dinner because of afterschool activities.
We live in an age where it is not uncommon to eat out at least once a week, and for
some, at least once a day. Unfortunately, when we choose to eat out we can lose control
over the amount of calories we consume.
Luckily for us, we do have control over what we choose when eating out. However, it
may take both self-control and knowledge to make the right choices. It is possible
to eat away from home, enjoy the food and company of others, and know that you have
not ruined your diet.
When it comes to ordering your beverage, ask for water or order fat-free or low-fat
milk, unsweetened tea, or other drinks without added sugars. Drinks containing added
sugars provide calories, but offer few vitamins and minerals.
When choosing a sandwich, ask for whole wheat bread. The high fiber content of whole
grains may help you to feel full with fewer calories; therefore you will eat less.
In a restaurant, start your meal with a salad packed with veggies to help control
hunger and feel satisfied sooner. Just watch to avoid adding large amounts of high
calorie salad dressing, and other high fat toppings such as bacon, cheese, etc. If
you do add salad dressing, ask for it to be served on the side. Then use only as much
as you want.
Choose main dishes that include vegetables, such as stir fries, kebobs, or pasta with
a tomato sauce. Eating foods containing vegetables are generally lower in calories,
which may be useful in helping to lower calorie intake.
Choose a “small” or “medium” portion; this includes main dishes, side dishes, and
beverages. Many times a child’s menu is the appropriate serving size that adults need.
Order an item from the menu instead of heading for the “all-you-can-eat” buffet. Many
times it may be hard to resist choosing a large variety of items and then going back
for seconds of the items we didn’t chose the first time.
If main portions at a restaurant are larger than you want, there are strategies to
keep you from overeating. These include ordering an appetizer or side dish instead
of an entrée; share a main dish with a friend; if you can chill the extra food right
away, take leftovers home in a “doggy bag.”
Don’t feel like you have to be a member of the “clean your plate club.” It is time
to give up that membership. When you’ve eaten enough, leave the rest.
On long commutes or shopping trips, pack some fresh fruit, cut-up vegetables, low-fat
string cheese sticks, or a handful of unsalted nuts to help you avoid stopping for
sweet or fatty snacks.
If you do happen to overeat while eating out, or maybe you don’t make the healthiest
of choices, you can take action and incorporate some physical activity into your day.
Choose activities that you enjoy. Some choices might include doing stretches, exercises,
or pedaling a stationary bike while watching television. Mow the lawn with a push
mower. Plant and care for a vegetable or flower garden. Play with the kids, tumble
in the leaves, splash in a puddle, or dance to favorite music. Replace a coffee break
with a brisk 10-minute walk and ask a friend to go with you.
Eating out doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure if you know how to make smart choices.
For more information contact the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Miller
County Extension office in Room 215 of the Miller County courthouse. E-mail me at
email@example.com or call 870-779-3609. You can also get great tips on facebook at
UAEXMillerCountyFCS/CarlaHaleyHadley, and twitter at @MillerCountyFCS or visiting
our website at uaex.uada.edu/miller.
By Carla Haley-Hadley County Extension Agent - FCSThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Carla Haley-Hadley County Extension Agent - FCSU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854 (870) 779-3609 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any
other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.