4 Tricks for Ordering a Diet-Friendly Brunch
No one wants to be that person eating cottage cheese when everyone else is tucking into French toast and sausage. Here's how to enjoy brunch without going overboard.
No one wants to be thatÂ person eating cottage cheeseÂ when everyone else is tuckingÂ into French toast and sausage.Â But many women I knowÂ wake up on Monday withÂ serious food remorse afterÂ overdoing it at Sunday brunch.Â To enjoy yourself withoutÂ going overboard, use theseÂ savvy strategies.
Make omelets your go-to
Omelets donâ€™t feel â€œdiet-y,â€ andÂ you can customize them to beÂ lean. Nix cheese, baconÂ and meat (eggs alone haveÂ enough protein) and addÂ plenty of veggies and avocadoÂ for good fat. Most omeletsÂ come with both toast andÂ potatoesâ€”choose just oneÂ to avoid carb overload. OrÂ swap potatoes for a side saladÂ (some restaurants even offerÂ this on the menu).
Limit yourself to one splurge
At brunch, extras can add upÂ quickly. A piece of scone with aÂ smear of jam, a strip of baconÂ from your friendâ€™s plateâ€”Â before you know it, youâ€™veÂ eaten your way into a seriousÂ calorie surplus. Next time,Â plan in advance your one treat,Â like a few bites of your hubbyâ€™sÂ hash browns. Then savor itÂ and stop there. Sure, itâ€™s not asÂ much fun as nibbling willy-nilly,Â but you arenâ€™t totally deprivingÂ yourself either.
Get a side of fruit
Having an array of berries,Â cut watermelon or the likeÂ in front of you can keep youÂ from digging into the muffinÂ basket, and youâ€™ll save a tonÂ of calories. In addition toÂ being chock-full of nutrientsÂ and fiber, fresh fruit isÂ water-rich, which meansÂ there are fewer calories perÂ bite compared with dry,Â pastry-type goodies. Case inÂ point: Just one mini bananaÂ nut muffin contains aboutÂ 100 calories, while a cup ofÂ cut cantaloupe (about a tennisÂ ballâ€“size portion) has only 50.
Order a mimosa, hold the OJ
A flute of straight champagneÂ actually has more caloriesÂ than juice (125 versus 109),Â but cutting out the OJ willÂ slash your carb intake byÂ about 5 grams (from 8 to 3),Â essentially all of it from theÂ juiceâ€™s sugar. Since youâ€™ll beÂ eating other starchy foods, andÂ you may be lounging aroundÂ after your meal rather thanÂ exercising, you wonâ€™t wantÂ those excess carbs, which willÂ end up getting stored as fat.
Cynthia SassÂ is a nutritionist and registered dietitian with masterâ€™s degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen onÂ national TV, sheâ€™sÂ Healthâ€™s contributing nutrition editor, and privately counselsÂ clientsÂ in New York, Los Angeles, and long distance. Cynthia is currently the sports nutrition consultant to the New York Rangers NHL team and the New York Yankees MLB team, and is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics. Cynthia is a three-time New York Times best-selling author, and her brand new book isÂ Slim Down Now: Shed Pounds and Inches with Real Food, Real Fast. Connect with her onÂ Facebook,Â TwitterÂ andÂ Pinterest.