Breakfast Edition: Dining Out Tips
As you know, breakfast is often called the “most important meal of the day,” and there’s good reason for that. It starts your day—and metabolism—off on the right foot. A study, published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, found that skipped meals can cause metabolic issues that lead to abdominal weight gain. Of course, what you choose to eat makes all the difference here. With this breakfast edition, you can enjoy the brunch scene while staying on track with your healthy eating plan.
When glancing at your favorite diner’s breakfast menu, the choices can be overwhelming. Sugary cereals, donuts and fatty breakfast meats do not make for a healthy start. This might make it feel potentially challenging to dine out for your morning time meal. In fact, if you love meeting up for brunch or breakfast with friends or family, you might be thinking that your plan to lose weight is going to negatively impact your social calendar.
But it definitely doesn’t have to be that way. There are ways to dine out and still make healthy choices that you can enjoy. To simplify things for you, we’ve created a breakfast edition of “order this” and “avoid that” which will guide you toward making Nutrisystem-approved breakfast choices when dining out.
The idea is to skip the extra-greasy options like full-fat bacon or sausage. Instead, choose lean proteins like low sodium Canadian bacon, turkey bacon or turkey sausage. You might also choose scrambled eggs—or better yet, egg whites. You can always modify a dish by specifically asking for egg whites and reduced fat cheese. Try ordering an egg white omelet filled with non-starchy veggies, low fat American cheese and a side of whole grain toast.
High Fiber Choices
Look for high fiber cereals that contain bran or a hot cereal like oatmeal or wheat porridge. If you’d like some toast or another type of bread, choose a whole grain or whole wheat variety. Swap out the butter for a high protein option like peanut butter and skip the sugar-filled jelly for whole fruit.
Make Fat-Free or Low-Fat Selections
Instead of whole milk or yogurt, choose fat-free or low-fat varieties to save on calories. If you don’t enjoy drinking your coffee black, add a splash of fat free milk or half-and-half as opposed to heavy cream or sugary creamers. Add some sweetness with a natural calorie-free sweetener like stevia or monk fruit.
No matter what you’re eating, you can always ask for some fruit on the side as a healthy option. Always choose whole fruit over fruit juice because it contains the necessary fiber to keep you full and satisfied.
As we mentioned, regular bacon, sausage and fried eggs can easily be substituted for a healthier lean protein. You should also avoid greasy, fried choices like hash browns and home fries.
Although they’re associated with breakfast, the truth is that breakfast pastries like donuts, muffins, cinnamon rolls and scones are like eating a sugary dessert. They have just as much fat and calories (if not more) than things like cookies, cake and pie! Avoid these empty calories and choose high fiber options that don’t pack on the pounds. If you’re truly pining for some pastries, check out the Nutrisystem A La Carte menu! Our Cinnamon Roll and Cherry Cheese Roll will satisfy your craving and keep your diet in check.
The standard French toast recipe includes bread, eggs and milk—which is seemingly harmless enough. But since most restaurants use white bread, you’re packing in simple carbs—and that’s before toppings. You’re undoubtedly going to soak that toast in sugary syrup and pile it high with unhealthy toppings. Avoid this breakfast edition dish at restaurants and try making a healthier version at home. The scenario is similar for pancakes and waffles, which are typically made with white flour and sugar.
Make healthy French toast at home with our recipe for French Toast Cups! Our 3-Ingredient Banana Pancakes and Chocolate Strawberry Waffles are also delicious, diet-friendly versions of these breakfast staples.
Breakfast edition sandwiches from your average diner can be absolutely packed with artery-clogging fats. They are generally prepared with white bread and high fat, sodium-filled meats and cheese. If it’s something you really crave, try preparing a leaner variety at home. You can also stock up on our frozen Turkey Sausage & Egg Muffin for a diet-friendly meal ready in minutes.
This one tricks a lot of people as the name “smoothie” conjures images of a fruity drink. It’s true that when made purely of whole fruits and vegetables, smoothies can be a healthy choice. However, many restaurants throw in unhealthy ingredients like sugary juices, syrups and flavored yogurts to sweeten them up. Similarly, avoid blended coffee drinks which tend to be loaded with sugar. There are so many healthy smoothies you can make at home (Check out some recipes here! >). When dining out, stick to water or coffee as your beverage of choice.