If your weight loss goals are less about skinny jeans and more about reducing your risk of certain types of cancer, these strategies for eating healthy at restaurants and at home can help you succeed.
While it’s important for weight loss to make the best choices and keep portion control in mind wherever you are, it’s also vital to set up an environment that makes all of that easier.
At restaurants, request bread baskets, chips, and similar extras be removed from the table to help prevent overeating. Order menu choices rich in lower calorie fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and filling whole grains, like those recommended by Healthy Dining’s dietitians. These kinds of choices can be an easy fit into a weight loss diet and are packed with nutrients shown to help reduce the risk of cancer.
At home, follow these tips from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), based on research from behavioral expert Brian Wansink, to help make your home a healthier environment for weight loss AND cancer prevention:
In the Kitchen: Put colorful ready-to-eat fruits and veggies front, center and visible. Move other foods out of sight.
Keep a bowl of pears on the kitchen counter or sliced red peppers and carrots on the top shelf of the refrigerator, and you’re more likely to pick up and eat a pear, carrot stick or a red pepper on your way in or out than the cookies tucked away in the cupboard
At the Kitchen Table: Remove serving dishes from the dinner table (unless they are veggies).
If you have to make an effort to get seconds, for example, getting up from the table and walking to the serving bowl, you’re less likely to refill your plate. According to Wansink, you may eat up to 19% less food if the serving bowls aren’t on the table.
In the Family Room: Keep water handy, bowls small, and put the snacks in another room.
Once again, limiting the damage here is all about convenience and inconvenience. Keep a bottle or glass of water next to you, and if you eat snacks, use a small bowl or plate for them. Beverages (other than water), chips, candy and other snack foods should stay in the kitchen so you must make an effort – standing and walking – to refill your small bowl.