Eating healthy at home is pretty simple as you control what food items you purchase, what meals you prepare, and how the cooking is done. You know every little ingredient that goes into your dishes… and your body. But what happens when you go out to eat at a restuarant? How are you supposed to stick to your healthy eating routine, then?
In this article, I’ll share some healthy tips for eating out which will make it simpler for you to enjoy eating at restaurants without having to worry about adding pounds to your weight.
Tip #1 – Not all Restaurants are Made Equal
Eating at a salad bar is not the equivalent of eating hamburger and fries at a fast food restaurant. The calorie amount, the unhealthy fat, the salt, that you will consume in the first is much less than you would eat in the second.
You need to make a choice where to go out to eat. This is, actually, a much more important decision then deciding on your actual meal, since the options you have to choose from are drastically different from one restaurant to the next. So, the first healthy tip for eating out is to pick restaurants that offer high quality, non-fattening food.
Tip #2 – How Many Course Do You Really Need
For some people, anything less than entrees, main course, wine, and desert, simply doesn’t count as eating out. But, do you really need all those courses?
I often find that I do quite well with just a main course and a nice glass of red wine. I don’t really need anything else. I’m not really hungry after I eat my main course. Don’t force yourself to eat too much just because you feel like you’ll be cutting yourself short on your night out. This is simply not true.
Tip #3 – Choose Your Desert Carefully
Often, the biggest source of calories in your meal will be your desert. You may eat healthy for the entire meal and then decide to indulge yourself with some high-calorie treat. This is OK, on ocassion, as long as you don’t overdo it.
However, you may also choose another piece of desert, one which is healthier and with less calories. For instance, a nice sorbet may be better than that double-sized cheesecake, and you don’t really need whipped cream on top of that chocolate cake. The choice is yours to make, of course, but you can pick dishes with less calories, sugar, and fat.
Tip #4 – Control your alcohol
You may not realize this at all, but you may be drinking a sizeable part of your calories. This is true for sodas and juices, but alcohol is a special case. Alcohol can make you fat, if you drink too much of it, not just because it is rich in calories but also because of how its processed inside the body. Without going into too much detail, know that alcohol is one of the worse things for weight loss. For more on this read this article: does red wine may you fat?
Tip #5 – Start with a salad
This tip is particularly true if you’re eating at an all-you-can-eat-buffett style restaurant. While you’re feeling hungriest, it may be difficult to control what you eat and how much of it you eat. A good way to reduce your hunger a bit is to start your meal with a low calorie salad. This will fill you up nicely so you won’t be tempted, as much, by the more high calorie dishes you may be able to choose.
Tip #6 – Limit Portion Sizes
The size of the average dish has increased over the past few decades. What used to be medium may today be termed as small. While your perception may have changed, the requirements of your body haven’t. You don’t really need big portions. Choose medium or even small portions. Often, these will be quite enough.
Tip #7 – Beware Add Ons
While the name of your dish may seem to be of a food which low in calories, what will be added to it may make it anything but. For instance, a potato isn’t calorie rich, but one served with cream or butter is. A salad is usually low in calories but the dressing may not be.
One thing you can do is ask that all gravies, dressing, and other additions be served on the side so you can control how much you place on your dish. This, alone, can save you hundreds of calories.
Eating out can and should be fun. However, it can also prove to be a diet buster. While it’s alright to enjoy an “indulging” meal every once in a while, if you eat at restaurants regularly, make use of some of the eating out health tips I’ve outlined in this article. Your body and figure will be grateful.