Eating Out the Healthy Way

It is feasible to maintain a healthy diet when dining at restaurants. It’s just a question of approach.

You might enjoy taking a break from cooking. When eating in restaurants, there’s no reason to sacrifice healthy eating or sabotage your diet plan.

Ask for variations

Do not be afraid to inquire about the preparation of the dish. If something on the menu looks tasty but would be better with a substitution, as for what you want. Most restaurants will be happy to accommodate modifications to the standard selections.

Salads are a healthy choice

Ask for your salad dressing to be provided separately. Most restaurants pour on way too much. By having it on the side, you could save over 100 calories. Ask for Romaine lettuce and green and red peppers which are more nutritious than head lettuce and celery.

Healthy pasta

Request tomato-based sauce for pasta rather than sauce made with cream. Don’t be shy about asking for variations. Because you are paying for your food, you should get what you want.

Split the main meal

Many entrees are much too large. You could order a salad and main course and share them both with a friend instead of ordering both for each of you. Or put a reasonably-sized portion of your meal on a bread plate and ask the waiter to “doggy bag” the rest to bring home. Do this at the beginning of the meal so you won’t be tempted to mindlessly pick at the food at the end of your meal.

Watch out for buffets

Buffets or all-you-can-eat restaurants often spell trouble for people watching their waistlines. However, it is all dependent on how you approach the meal. To start, have a salad first. Plate space is taken up by leafy greens. Then, just combine a tablespoon or two of each thing to create a variety of different dishes. Watch out for salad toppings. Bacon bits, croutons, salad dressings and cheeses can make salads very high in fat. Stick with the vegetables and add a small amount of a protein.

Curb your hunger

Drink lots of water. During the time you wait for your meal to arrive, sip on water to take the edge off your hunger. If you enjoy bread with your meal, use just a thin spread of butter or, better yet, dip the bread in olive oil which is a good fat.

Mega-sizing spells trouble

Don’t be taken in by “mega sizing” for a few cents more. Think of all those extra calories you don’t really need. It may be cheap now but all you’re getting is more calories. Is it really necessary to have gigantic anything to do with food?

Fast food restaurants

At fast food restaurants and sandwich shops try a tortilla wrap with a variety of vegetables like green and red peppers, olives and slice of cheese. Instead of mayonnaise-type dressing, use mustard or simply heat the wrap to bring out the flavor without dressing.

Moderation is the key to a healthy restaurant meal

Don’t be “on a diet” when you eat out. Enjoy the foods you love but learn to modify and substitute or just have a take a lesser piece and go home. You will enjoy the food more because you won’t be overstuffed when you’re finished. Notice how much better you feel physically after eating a modified meal. You’ll feel like going for a nice walk instead of lying down.

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