The smorgasbord of goodies awaiting you at a cafeteria is tempting. It is already cooked, smells great, and looks delicious. Understanding your choices to eat healthy at the cafeteria are your access for weight management success.
The standard fare at cafeterias may not be the healthiest choices, and the dessert temptations are generally considered comfort foods. The Orlando weight loss team at Svelte Medical Weight Loss has tips for you to carefully navigate the cafeteria’s less-healthy choices so you can fill up without filling out.
Step 1: Eat Healthy at the Cafeteria by loading up on water first.
- Water, Please: Order water with your meal, and don’t eat until you drink at least half a glass. Many people cannot tell the difference between hunger and thirst; drinking water before the meal quenches thirst and fills your stomach. Consuming water throughout the day improves your skin, hydrates your body, and keeps you from feeling hungry.
Step 2: Size Check
- Portion Size: Although everything looks tempting, try to control portion size. Remember that 2/3 of your meal should be carbohydrates and 1/3 should be protein with just a bit of fat. When possible, choose fish or chicken, vegetables or a salad, and fresh fruits. Sometimes vegetables may be swimming in a butter sauce, so drain those or choose another option.
- Fill Your Plate with the Good Stuff: Remember the buffet is for everyone and you are only meant to eat your share. We are all predisposed to eat as much as possible when food is available. This was a great idea 400 years ago when food was much more scarce but that does not work nowadays. The food will be there next time, so just eat what will fill you up. If you are able to fill your plate more than once, choose a big salad with a healthy dressing on your first visit, then a main course of white meat and vegetables for the second course, and possibly fresh fruit with a drizzling of sugar for your dessert. This will satisfy your hunger and keep you full long through the day.
- Is Small OK? “I’ll just have a little bit” is a great way to backpedal on a diet. The small servings seem too tiny to contain many calories, and that is why many people are tempted to take a dollop of everything offered. Avoid creamy sauces, buttery vegetables and breads, and crusts and pastries.
Is it a Cheat Day Anyways?
If going out to eat is a special once-a-month treat, feel free to splurge a little. A slice of freshly baked pie will not significantly increase your weight, especially if you balance it with a brisk walk afterward. An important point to remember is to consume fresh foods not those fried or baked in a heavy sauce.
Timeless Diet Advice
If you feel hungry after your main course, drink water, and wait about 15 minutes before returning to the buffet. Chances are your stomach will note the volume of food by then and will send a signal to your brain that you are full. Learn more about healthy eating by reading the blogs on our website, or calling the Orlando weight loss clinic, Svelte Medical Weight Loss, at 407-804-5200.