Learning healthy eating out options at restaurants can be easy when you’re prepared. Going out with your friends or family can be a fun and pleasurable experience.
But if you’re not prepared, you can wind up eating more calories than you normally would at home.
Knowing where you’re going to eat, what menu choices are available and the flexibility of the restaurant staff will help ensure you have a good time going out.
Here are healthy eating dining out tips.
Select a healthier restaurant
There are some restaurants that are known for serving lower calorie foods or fat-free options. When you’re making plans to go out, check with your party to see if they wouldn’t mind going there.
If you can’t go to a “healthy” restaurant, don’t be afraid to ask the waiter or chef for off the menu items. Normally they’re more than happy to accommodate different dieting choices.
Eat your veggies first
A salad is usually a healthy choice if it’s not loaded down with a bunch of unnecessary ingredients. Ask for any oils, dressings or croutons on the side.
This way you can control how much, if any, you put on your salad. If salad isn’t your favorite, opt for vegetable soup or soups with a broth.
If you’re not really a fan of soup, ask for steamed vegetables. Most restaurants usually have a variety of different vegetables that they offer with meals.
Order an appetizer for your meal
Appetizers are usually smaller in size than regular entrees and have fewer calories. If you can, order an appetizer that has vegetables or a slice of lean meat or seafood.
Look for grilled options instead of fried. Avoid breaded dishes as those are generally loaded with calories.
If you have a craving for a burger, skip the bun, cheese, and mayo. Just by eliminating these three items, you can reduce your caloric intake by 318 calories. Ask for lettuce, tomatoes, and onions instead.
Most entrees come with a side dish. Order vegetables instead of calorie heavy carbs.
If everyone is ordering mixing drinks, opt for the “virgin” version instead. Even though the drink has more calories than water, it’s still going to have fewer calories than the alcohol version.
Skip the Buffets
Although the food at buffets usually tastes really good, they’re not always the healthiest options. A lot of the selection is either deep-fried or covered in a fattening sauce.
If you still go, head straight to the salad bar. There are usually lots of fruit and raw vegetables.
Learning healthy eating out options at restaurants takes just a little planning and forethought. When you’re making better food choices, there’s nothing wrong with eating out once in a while.
When you know and how much to eat, you won’t regret your dining out experience later.