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Nutrition Notes for Dieters: Fast Food & Fine Dining Restaurant Tips

Written by Diet Bites

Tips for weight loss and maintenance when dining away from home.

If you dine out more often than not these days, you're in heavy company. The USDA reports that:


- 70% of teenage males dine away from home each day;

- 57% of all Americans eat away from home on a daily basis;

- About 40% of those Americans who are sixty years old and over dine away from home on a daily basis.

There is a developing trend in the works, isn't there - and it doesn't take a weight loss guru to determine such.

Why Are Americans Dining Out More?

So why is it that so many of us are taking our meals out of our kitchens and dining rooms and into the fast food and restaurant arena?

First and foremost, dining out if very convenient. Although we have so many new machines that do our work for us, that modern age of technology has also introduced a new era of fun things that entertain us - from the computer age to video games and the ability to watch any movie that we wish from the convenience of our homes. Dining out allows more time to play and less time spent in the kitchen.

And it can be more economical on the pocketbook, too.

While a couple of tacos can cost less than two dollars these days, in order to prepare those two tacos at home, we would need to purchase ground beef, tomatoes, lettuce, onion, spices, corn tortilla or flour tortilla shells, shredded cheese - and so forth which would cost a lot more than those two fast food tacos.

This may be a key reason why those who are over the age of sixty spend more time dining out than cooking their meals at home. The payoff for home-prepared meals comes in the form of more diners at the table as well as the ability for the food to keep in the refrigerator or freezer when there are leftovers.

In addition, older Americans may have difficulties with mobility - or in moving about freely.

Just a few decades ago, when an individual moved into their fifties, they were considered fairly old turtles. Now days, with all the face and body enhancements available - as well as the ability to basically iron the face of wrinkles, some people simply don't realize that the ageing body is growing older, slower.

This isn't to say that we should return to our fetus states at a particular age; it is to say that age is becoming less of a factor due to all of the available enhancements and because of such, the people who are around senior citizens often forget that the person isn't as spry as they used to be as they may appears years younger.

Famous people who pass over that great rainbow in the sky at the ripe old age of seventy often pull a gasp from fans and non-fans alike with shocked comments such as, "Why, he wasn't THAT old." In actuality, he was that old. Indeed, there is something to be said for the graceful ageing individual.

Back to our fast food dining tips. Simply put, grabbing something to eat at a fast food or fine dining restaurant is not only convenient and economical, but it might assist in pain management where some individuals are concerned. Thus far - so good. But fast food and restaurant dining doesn't come without potential health risks where foods contain too much sodium, too much saturated and Trans fats, too much sugar and too many calories. Unfortunately, these unhealthy elements tend to comprise the backbones of fast food type dining.

So what a dieter to do? Forget about dining out?

Of course not - but you can make your choices as healthy as possible. Here are some of Diet Bites favorite tips for fast food and fine restaurant dining.

Base your menu selections on caloric values but do be mindful of the dietary fat content.

When a menu item is minimal in caloric content, then logically speaking - it's going to contain minimal fat. Foods that are mined with fat run up quickly where caloric values are involved. And be sure to request a nutrition guide before ordering; better yet - check online before you go by pulling up the restaurant's website. Almost-all have a nutrition guide which provides calories, fat grams - protein content and more.

Watch those restaurant specialty sauces, salad dressings, biscuits and so forth.

Leftover For Later

When placing your order, be mindful of the menu selection that will do well in your refrigerator and which might taste better the following day. A great example is Wendy's chili. We always order two of the large size containers of chili; we split one and enjoy it at the time of our order and we save the other container for the refrigerator to enjoy the following day.

One small chili contains 210 calories and 6 total dietary fat grams. One large chili contains a skinny 310 calories and 9 total dietary fat grams. If you're taking the chili home to enjoy on the following day, we suggest omitting the extra onions and adding your own if you wish at meal time.

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