How do you eat out and still be healthy?
We all know it's better to prepare your own food, but who wants to do that every day? Some days, I just don't want to think about cooking. I want someone else to prepare it, serve it to me and clean it up!
Every once in a while, it’s ok to splurge. Go ahead, have the dessert! But if you eat out several times a week (or especially every day), those extra calories can add up.
Tip #1: Check the nutrition information before you go. Most chain restaurants post these on their website. However, many mom and pops or local restaurant chains don't.
So, what can you do to try to make healthy choices if you can't look at the calories beforehand? Here are some tips to keep your restaurant meals as healthy as possible so you can be sure to meet your weight loss goals:
✳️️ Pass on the bread and butter and fried tortilla chips. Can't resist when it's right in front of you? Tell the waiter NOT TO BRING IT TO THE TABLE.
✳️️ Drink water or unsweetened tea. There are tons of hidden calories (and expense) in colas, juices and alcoholic beverages. Don't even get me started on diet soda. :)
✳️️ If you order soup, order a broth-based soup rather than a cream-based soup and you'll cut calories at least by half.
✳️️ Choose dishes with salsa or marinara as the sauce instead of gravies or cream sauces.
✳️️ Request your salad dressing be served on the side. This lets you control the amount you eat. Go light, you can always add more.
✳️️ Opt for STEAMED, POACHED, BROILED, BAKED, GRILLED, LIGHTLY SAUTEED and ROASTED menu options. Stay away from fried or breaded.
✳️️ Skip the fries and baked potato. Go for a side salad, fruit cup or veggies.
✳️️ If the restaurant’s servings are large, order one or two appetizers instead of an entrée. If you want to get the entrée, split it immediately and doggy bag half your meal for the next day.
✳️️ Skip dessert and have decaf coffee or tea instead. If you can’t resist, order something small that you can share with someone else. All you really want is a taste right?
✳️️ Consider ordering a la carte, as your portions are likely to be smaller and you won't fill up on sides.
✳️️ Seek out deli-style fast food for more control over ingredients (lean meat, no mayo, light on cheese). Obviously not the plan if you're going for a nice, sit down dinner BUT for those weekday lunches, think Subway, Piada, Qdoba, Chipotle...those places where you specify exactly what ingredients you want. Study the nutritional info first though to be sure you're making smart choices. Some things that might seem harmless really aren't.
These quick tips can help you control calories, carbs, sodium and more when eating out at restaurants.
How do you enjoy eating out while still making healthier choices?