You’re having a great week; you’ve been making your own healthy lunches, you’ve been hitting the gym, getting the right amount of sleep, and then… a friend asks you to go out to eat. You’re sitting at a restaurant staring at a huge menu and you have no idea what to get. You still want to continue to make healthy choices like you did all week, but everything looks so good and tempting! Just because you’re out to eat doesn’t mean that you can’t make healthy choices that taste good. You don’t be afraid of dining out – what could be better than food and friends? It just takes a little practice and awareness to make healthy choices when out to eat.
This is the easiest tip to follow. Not only is ordering water free, but saves you a lot of calories compared to choosing soda or most alcoholic beverages people tend to get at restaurants.
Dressing on the side
Asking for dressing on the side is always a good option. Then you can dip your fork in with each bite. You’ll be surprised at how satisfying even a small amount of dressing can be compared to dousing the whole salad in dressing like restaurants typically do. Then you’re only eating what you actually need.
Opt for apps
See a few appetizers that look good to you? Opt for a one or two smaller plates instead of an entree! Restaurants tend to make entrees way larger than they should be, and can have as many as three times the amount of calories that a normal meal should have. Appetizers tend to be smaller, but just as good! Who says you can’t get one as your meal?
The best part about going out to eat is the leftovers you bring home and get to eat the next day! If you choose to get an entree, ask your waiter to either box half of it before they even bring it to the table, or ask for a box right when they serve it to you. Portion half of your meal in the to go box, and you’ll likely be more than satisfied with the half you’re left with. AND, you have lunch for the next day!
Choose to share
Some people can’t resist dessert when they’re out to eat, and why should they?? Instead of having an entire piece of cheesecake to yourself, order one with a couple spoons so everyone can have a bite.
The next time you’re out to eat, no need to panic. Even just making a few of these changes can make a big impact!
Written by GUADS staff member Emily with contributions from rd.com.