Gayle Timmerman, PhD, APRN, and associate dean for academic affairs at The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing, has collaborated on the development of an online healthy eating resource for healthcare providers and restaurant diners with input from a health and wellness expert at Darden, a full-service restaurant company with headquarters in Orlando.
“‘Eating Well While Eating Out’ is designed to provide viable options for restaurant patrons concerned about weight and making healthful dining choices,” Timmerman said in a news release. “Because dining out is so much a part of life in America today, it is important that healthcare providers and consumers have a tool to help identify how to successfully eat out and achieve nutrition goals while still enjoying the dining experience.”
Timmerman has studied how eating patterns affect weight management for more than 20 years, according to the release. Although her recent study on mindful restaurant eating was designed to help consumers maintain weight when eating out, many participants in the intervention group lost significantly more weight and had lower average daily caloric and fat intake and experienced fewer barriers to weight management when eating out. Many of the insights from her research have been incorporated into the “Eating Well While Eating Out” resource.
The first section of the booklet is geared toward healthcare professionals and identifies basic clusters of restaurant-eating patterns and provides tips to encourage their patients and clients to make choices that will help them achieve their weight control and nutrition goals.
The second section is geared toward consumers and explains the common pitfalls in eating out, such as peer pressure and special occasions, and provides practical steps on avoiding them. It also lists how to make adjustments that result in healthier options and yet satisfy cravings at specific restaurants.