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"Eating Well While Eating Out": School of Nursing Professor Collaborates on Mindful Restaurant Eating Resource

Posted: April 23, 2015

Dr. Gayle Timmerman

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 health care providers and restaurant diners with the senior director of Health and Wellness at Darden, one of the leading full-service restaurant companies in the world.

“‘Eating Well While Eating Out’ is designed to provide viable options for restaurant patrons concerned about weight and making healthful dining choices,” Dr. Timmerman said. “Because dining out is so much a part of life in America today, it’s important that health care providers and consumers have a tool to help identify how to successfully eat out and achieve nutrition goals while still enjoying the dining experience.”

Dr. Timmerman has studied how eating patterns affect weight management for more than 20 years. Although her recent study on Mindful Restaurant Eating was designed to help consumers maintain weight when eating out, many participants in the intervention group actually 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 health care 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 “The Special Occasion” and provides practical steps on how to avoid them. It also lists how to make adjustments that result in healthier options and yet satisfy cravings at specific restaurants.

“I’m pleased that these research results have now become available to a wider audience who are interested in making healthier eating choices,” Dr. Timmerman said. “This is a resource that anyone can try, without spending a lot of money and still successfully achieve their weight management goals.”

Click here to download “Eating Well While Eating Out” toolkit (PDF).

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