So you’ve been trying to eat well and find healthier options.
You’re cooking at home and side stepping the sodium, fat, and calories found in many restaurant foods.
But let’s face it – you’re tired of cutting veggies and toiling away over the stove.
You want to go out and enjoy a tasty meal that somebody else cooks for you!
And there’s nothing wrong with that…
But, eating out can either make or break your health efforts.
What you choose from the menu and how often you eat out matters.
Here are tips to help you find healthier options at your favorite restaurant.
1) Think about selecting a few small dishes instead of one heavy meal.
If you cobble together a fruit plate with a soup or salad, you have nothing to worry about. Try to order soup that isn’t overly creamy or heavy. The clearer the soup, like miso or vegetable, the better.
And, let your server know ahead of time that you don’t want any bread brought to the table.
When it’s sitting in front of you, it’s just way too tempting.
2) If you order a full meal, take home the leftovers.
Why not opt for healthier options like a small salad or mixed olives to satiate your hunger before dinner is served?
This way you won’t mindlessly scarf down dinner.
You may even split dinner in half and take the rest home for tomorrow.
3) If you insist on eating a dish like pasta, choose healthier options like marinara over alfredo sauce.
Cream-based sauces contain more unhealthy fat and calories. The same goes for salads.
Many people choose Caesar salad thinking they are eating healthy.
If you call it a salad, it has to be healthy, right?
If we assume that all foods with lettuce are healthy, then I would put lettuce over a plate of brownies and indulge.
Caesar salad dressing is one of the worst kinds out there – Parmesan isn’t the greatest and croutons are fried pieces of bread.
Take into account every ingredient since they all add up in the end. One measly Caesar salad can add 500 calories to your meal.
4) If you want to order a sandwich, here’s what I suggest.
Go ahead and order one, but stay away from processed meats, cheese, and again, those creamy sauces. Opt for grilled chicken, fish or mixed veggies.
If you order a sandwich, remove one of the bread slices and eat the sandwich with a fork and knife. This is an easy way to cut down on carbs.
Rarely do restaurants offer “healthy” bread, so you need to ditch as much bread as possible.
5) If you have an option between grilled or fried, go for grilled.
Anything fried is a big no-no. Also, choose fish or chicken over beef and pork.
Chicken and fish are leaner and meaner
In the end, choose restaurants carefully.
If the menu is known for unholy creations like donut burgers (why, why would anyone eat this monstrosity is beyond me), skip this joint and choose one that you know has healthier options.
It may require a bit of research, but it’s well worth it in the end.
I’m a firm believer in having fun, going out, and enjoying life.
Balance eating out with staying in and learn to choose the right restaurant foods.
Don’t be afraid to modify the menu and ask for alternatives. These days, servers and chefs do their best to accommodate.
Since no one can be expected to cook all the time, cheers to making healthy choices!
p.s. Leave a comment below and let me know your favorite healthy restaurant. Next time I’m in your area, I’d love to check it out!