10 Ways to Eat Healthier At Restaurants
We’ve all been there. You were eating healthy all week, and then got invited to go out for dinner. But sticking to a healthy diet doesn’t mean you have to completely avoid dining out (or ordering takeout). We’ve come up with 10 ways to stay healthy while ordering food at a restaurant.
1. Look for words such as baked, grilled, broiled, braised, roasted.
These cooking methods don’t involve adding extra fat, and are usually the healthier options on the menu. These are some of the leanest methods of preparing food.
2. Stay away from words such as crispy, fried, buttered, sauteed.
These cooking methods involve extra fat that is not necessary. This leads to extra calories in the preparation of the food.
3. Start with a soup or salad.
These are healthy options that will fill you up before your meal, which will cause less overeating. Try to stick to a standard side salad that doesn’t have a lot of ingredients besides vegetables.
4. Share with a friend.
Restaurants tend to serve outrageous portions. Splitting a meal with a friend is a great way to cut back on overeating. If you don’t have anyone to share your meal with, take the extra food home with you.
5. Order off the kids menu.
This is another way to cut back on overeating. Kids’ meals are smaller, so you won’t be tempted with a lot of food sitting in front of you. But make sure to check for any rules or upcharges for ordering off the kid’s menu, when you technically aren’t a “kid” anymore. 😉
6. Choose leaner meats.
Chicken breasts and turkey cutlets are very healthy lean meat choices. Other options may be higher in fat and cholesterol.
7. Skip the bread.
It’s easy to indulge when the bread baskets keep coming and you’re hungry while waiting for your meal to come. But try skipping the bread altogether, because one piece will easily lead to 3 or 4 pieces. Chewing on gum before your meal comes will help keep you occupied. Of course it’s fine to indulge now & then! But consistently loading up bread when eating out at restaurants will add up to a lot of carbs.
8. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
If there isn’t any nutrition information on the menu, don’t be afraid to ask your waiter. If your waiter doesn’t know the answer, they could ask someone who would know, like the cook. You can also ask about ingredients and cooking methods.
A lot of restaurants put their menu and nutrition information online. So, if the nutrition information isn’t on their menu, a simple Google search could help you find it.
10. Ask for sauces and dressings on the side.
Sauce and dressing is one of the easiest ways to add unnecessary calories to your meal. In order to control how much you are using, ask for it on the side. This way you have the option to use less, or to skip it altogether.