Did you find yourself wanting to go out to dinner and then spending forever trying to decide where to go because you want to make sure you choose a place that won’t derail your healthy eating efforts? We’ve been there! We’ve compiled a few easy to follow tips that will make a big difference when eating out.
1. Pass on the Bread or Chips
Usually when you show up at a restaurant you are hungry. They place a big basket of bread or bowl or chips in front of you and what happens? That’s right, it all gets eaten. Filling up on those things cheats you of your meal though and often time offers empty calories your body doesn’t really need. Rather than eating the bread, consider ordering a small green salad as soon as you sit down. Or, have a protein shake or small snack before leaving to go out to eat. This can be particularly helpful if you are really hungry. Finally, if you are heading out to a restaurant that offers chips you can request that they serve you tortillas and salsa instead. This at least has a bit less grease and calories. If you do decide to have the bread or chips, limit the amount you consume.
2. Use Balsamic Vinegar and Oil on Salads
Speaking of ordering a side salad first, pay attention to the dressing you choose. Many dressings are laden with calories and chemicals, and not the kind of calories you need to stay healthy. They can also be very high in sugar. Extra virgin olive oil, while containing a high amount of calories, is good for you. Plus, a little goes a long way.
3. Drink Up
Not the wine! We are taking about water. Drinking water, especially before dinner, helps you feel fuller. Many times thirst masks itself for hunger. Don’t be fooled. If you love your alcohol make sure you drink in moderation. Try ordering a spritzer. Half a glass of wine and half a glass of seltzer water. That way you get two rather than one!
4. Don’t be Afraid to Modify an Order
No one else is going to take charge of your health. You have to be willing to speak up. When ordering don’t be afraid to ask for special requests. Light oil, cheese and dressing on the side, no sauces on top, veggies rather than fries and steam rather than fry foods. Many restaurants are happy to accommodate requests if you ask. It’s amazing how much better you can eat if you are just mindful of what you are eating and how it’s prepared. Also, take a few moments to look at the menu online before you arrive. That way you don’t spend excessive amounts of time trying to figure it out while you friends or family are waiting. Have your order in your mind before you get there.
There are so many habits that you can put into place that make a HUGE difference over time. Little by little things add up in a positive or negative way. Also, we always try and pick restaurants that we know offer some sort of healthy option. Happy, healthy eating!