These tips are good for slimming your waistline or fattening your wallet or both. The next time you eat out, consider doing the following:
1. Share a meal
It’s not actually more food, but the servings in many US restaurants are so overwhelmingly large that they’re dangerous to your health. (If you don’t believe this, watch the film Supersize Me, a documentary which convinced McDonald’s to stop supplying the oversized portions.) Now, you can’t do meal-sharing with all your friends. Not everyone likes the same food, and some will want the larger portions. Besides, one reason for going to restaurants is so that everyone can all order different things. But when you can share a meal, you’re getting two meals for the price of one. If you don’t want to share the main meal, consider sharing other courses, such as the appetizer or the dessert.
2. Take some home
If you can’t share a meal with someone else, share it with yourself by taking part of the food home. If you can, as soon as the food comes, start by putting half the meal (or more) into a container. It’s better to do this as soon as the food arrives, because according to Dr. Brian Wansink’s Mindless Eating, the more food that you see on your plate, the more food you will eat. It’s best to get as much out of sight as soon as possible! So, either take a container with you to the restaurant, or ask them to bring a container to your table. One nice extra from doing this is that you’ll be spared from having to cook one meal later.
3. Skip the soda
There’s evidence that both sugared and diet drinks are correlated with being overweight! Instead, drink water. Occasionally, tap water leaves something to be desired, so you may have to order some designer water – which does not help you save money but which will help your body. You may even learn to prefer water to soda. Ask for a twist of lemon or lime to be added to your water. It’s a good idea, anyway, as the acidity from the citrus will help kill any bacteria that might be lurking in the faucet.
4. Use coupons
This can add up to real savings at a favorite restaurant. Of course, looking for coupons can take a lot of time and you might not find what you want. So, ask those working at the restaurant if they offer coupons and where you can locate them. They may offer a coupon to you on the spot.
If you follow these guidelines, you’ll contribute to both your wealth and health.