By Alice Harrosh

Let’s say you’ve booked a big dinner, so you skip lunch. Sound familiar? I think this is something most of us tend to do. Don’t. By the time you arrive at the restaurant, you’re starving, and guess what — here’s the bread basket! Two or three pieces later (or five with butter, of course), you’ve consumed a couple hundred calories — and you haven’t even spoken to the waiter.

From now on, first eat a light lunch, such as a salad with chicken and veggies and a slice of whole wheat bread. Then in the late afternoon, have a small snack — like a low-fat yogurt, 10-15 almonds, or a TAP cookie. Keeping your hunger under control means you won’t go in starving and eating the first thing that’s on the table; it helps you go in with a clear mind.

Beware of dishes labeled “light.” More and more restaurants are promoting low-calorie, good-for-you choices — and we love that! — but sadly, the claim isn’t always true. Just because something is low in carbs doesn’t make it diet. Always ask and don’t feel shy about it. Look for a balance of lean protein like fish or chicken breast, etc. If you want more information to help you choose the healthiest meals, go to the restaurant’s website ahead of time to see if they list nutritional information for each dish or to be able to make a good decision on what you might want to order.

Practice portion control. Eat three-quarters of what’s on your plate and then stop. Another tip that Tanya has always given people is to tell the waiter to automatically put half in a to-go container and bring back the rest. That way, it’s easier for you to control yourself.

Be smart about salad. At the salad bar, fill your plate with veggies, greens, chickpeas, and edamame, and top it with one tablespoon of lemon oil dressing. Skip the nuts, croutons, anything fried, and creamy dressings — trust me, it’s not worth the extra calories. Same goes for pasta, tuna, or chicken salads swimming in mayo. If you can’t resist, take one bite just to try it out and put the rest away.

Pick the best protein. If you really have to have a steak, note that a 10-oz. rib-eye can pack 780 calories or more. Instead, order leaner cuts of beef, such as a flank steak or strip. The recommended serving size is approximately 4–5 ounces (about the size of the palm of your hand). If the restaurant doesn’t offer one that small, cut your portion in half and take the rest home.

If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail alice@nutritionbytanya.com any time and I’ll be happy to help or direct you to someone who can.

Thank you and have a TAPtastic day!

Alice Harrosh is a nutrition counselor and manager at Nutrition by Tanya with 11 locations, including one in Five Towns near Elderd Lane. For more information on Nutrition by Tanya or the TAP (Tanya-approved products) food line, please visit nutritionbytanya.com or call 844-Tanya-Diet. Follow @nutritionbytanya on Instagram.

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