Ten Tips For Eating Out
The decision is yours!!
Check out the menu ahead of time to plan your healthy choice. Chain restaurants often have nutrition information on their websites, which can further guide your decision. This is a
Make your own rules!
Choose your dining-out rules and then STICK TO THEM!! Some common rules include: deciding to review only certain sections of a menu, choosing only non-fried foods, refusing the bread basket, leaving 1/3 of your food on your plate or eating dessert only when shared by the family. Be creative with this and make rules that you can live with!
Review the menu!
Look for menu items that are steamed, broiled, grilled, stir-fried (with broth or water), roasted or poached while avoiding foods that are described as buttery or buttered; crispy, sautéed, fried or pan-fried; and creamed, scalloped or au gratin.
Order it “dry”
Request foods prepared “dry” or without oil/butter. A food may be prepared in a healthful manner and yet have plenty of “hidden” fats added which rack up the calories. Broth, lemon, wine, herbs, spices and salsa can provide plenty of flavor without concentrated fat calories and can be ordered on the side or requested.
Make substitutions and skip the bread basket!
Substitute a vegetable, side salad or fruit cup for a potato, pasta or rice. This one substitution can save you a couple of hundred calories!!
Be careful at the salad bar!
Although salad bars sound healthy....steer clear of cheeses, creamy potato/macaroni salads, bacon bits, croutons and sweetened dried fruits while choosing a plethora of vegetables with some lean protein such as chicken, egg or beans, which will also help fill you up!
Watch the dressing!
Opt for fat-free or “light” salad dressings. For extra wellness points, ditch the dressing altogether and use balsamic vinegar or fresh lemon juice on your salad...Or ask for oil/vinegar.
Take it with you!
When your food arrives at the table...immediately ask for a to-go container. Pack up a portion of your meal, close the lid and enjoy the rest of your meal another day. Better yet, request that half your meal be packaged in the kitchen prior to it being served.
Eat slowly and mindfully, savoring each bite and stopping when satisfied. Your feeling of fullness will increase over the next half hour after eating. Have a healthy snack planned in a couple of hours so you do not feel the need to overeat in order to carry you to the next meal.
Avoid sugary soda and sweet tea!
You really do not want to drink your calories... you want to EAT your calories, so don't waste them on sugary drinks!! Choose sugar-free beverages such as water with lemon or a cup of coffee. Soda calories add up quickly, especially when refilled automatically.
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