Restaurant meals are known to be high in calories, partly as a result of massive portion sizes, and partly because of the generous amounts of butter and oil utilized to create those amazing-tasting dishes. However, if you’re trying to eat healthier, you can still enjoy meals out!
Here are some tips for eating out that can help you keep the calories lower and still enjoy the experience. You don’t have to use all these tips at the same event, but you can try one or more this week!
1. Ask the server to NOT bring the breadbasket or the chip basket if you know you’ll have trouble stopping at one roll or a few chips.
2. Ask for any sauce or dressing on the side (or take your own salad dressing from home… no, it’s not that weird!) and ask that your veggies NOT be cooked in oil or butter.
3. Don’t be afraid to order things that aren’t on the menu. This could be a side of steamed veggies or request to change a grilled chicken sandwich into a salad with grilled chicken.
4. Avoid things on the menu that are labelled fried, battered, creamy, breaded, and smothered. Even “sautéed” can be questionable, depending on how much oil or butter they are using.
5. The oldest trick in the book that really works: ask for a to-go box immediately and put half of your entree in the box before you start eating. Most restaurant portions are massive, and this will preempt the “I’m so full but I’m still going to pick at this one small bite at a time” situation.
Bonus Tip: the food does not need to be the focus of eating out. Make a point to enjoy the company, conversation, environment, and the fact that you didn’t have to cook (ok, that’s kind of focusing on food, but still…)
Are you eating out this week?