Going out to eat while trying to stay healthy can seem a little bit intimidating. You don’t know how the chef is preparing everything, what ingredients they’re using, how much of the ingredients they’re using, and so much more.
I’ve composed a little guide for you that might make eating out a little bit less nerve wracking for you.
If you know you’re heading out for dinner and want to indulge a little more than usual, plan the rest of your day accordingly. Make sure you have a well-balanced breakfast, and make sure that for lunch you cut back a little bit. Eat a lighter lunch. Not only will this help you balance your calories and nutrients throughout the day, but you’ll probably feel hungrier and therefore more satisfied with your dinner.
If you have the option to choose the restaurant that you’ll be eating at, look online to see the different menu options that each restaurant has. Most restaurants have a lighter menu with the nutrition information for each meal. If there’s a place that has healthier meals that you know you’ll like, try going there! Here are 10 healthy fast food options to help you choose where to go & what to get!
First thing’s first: Ask the waiter exactly how the food is prepared. Ask about what type of oils or butters are used; whether the food is baked, fried, steamed, sautéed, blackened, grilled, or broiled; ask what toppings and condiments are included in the meal, etc. If the waiter is unsure, don’t feel bad about having him check with the chef.
Beware of key words like creamy, crunchy, crispy, breaded, butter, sautéed, and pan fried. All of these words indicate that the food may be loaded with hidden fats.
Ask for your food to be steamed, grilled, baked or broiled instead of fried, and if oil has to be used, ask for coconut or extra virgin olive oil, and no butter. Get the sauces and condiments on the side so that you can add just as much as you need instead of the chef piling on too much. If there are dairy components, you can ask for low-fat milk or non-dairy substitutes. Instead of getting fries on the side, ask for a substitution of steamed veggies or a side salad with low-fat (or no) dressing on the side.
When your food comes, ask for a box right away so that you can box up half of your meal to take it home. This helps avoid over eating since restaurants usually serve very large portions.
Eat slow; place your fork/spoon down while you’re chewing each bite, and make sure you fully swallow one bite before putting another in your mouth. Drink water between every few bites as well. It takes twenty minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you’re satisfied, so by taking your time, you’re lessening the chance that you over eat and cause yourself indigestion.
Eating out doesn’t have to be an anxiety filled experience. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to enjoy your night out with great food!
By: Kayla Harwick