Eating out is a fun and social experience but can also be unhealthy. However, there are some tricks you can use to keep from sabotaging your diet when you go out to eat.
Here are some tips for eating healthy while enjoying yourself at the same time:
Start your meal with a soup or salad.
A bowl of soup is an easy way to fill up on a low-calorie meal while also getting more vegetables in your diet. A cup of tomato soup can have as few as 90 calories and contains vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, folate and magnesium. Adding cheese will add extra calories and fat, so keep that in mind if you like adding cheese to your soup. A salad is also an easy way to get more vegetables into your diet: spinach salads are healthy because they have high amounts of vitamins A and K, which help protect against some cancers. Add chicken breast for protein without adding too many additional calories or fat!
Know what’s in your dressing.
Before you dive into that salad, check the dressing. Avoid creamy or cheesy dressings (usually full of fat and calories), dressings with added sugar or high fructose corn syrup (which can cause your blood sugar to spike), and mayonnaise-based dressings and anything with high-fat content.
If you can’t find the ingredients list on the menu, ask if the restaurant could provide it for you. You can also look up their nutritional information online, so you know what to expect when ordering there.
Skip the soda and try drinking water instead.
- Water is a great choice for your body, as it’s good for you and helps keep you hydrated. It’s also cheaper than soda, so you can save money by choosing water over soda.
- In addition to the health benefits of drinking water instead of soda, many restaurants offer free refills on their drinks if they are in a pitcher or glass bottle. This means that eating out at restaurants will often be less expensive when compared to buying drinks at convenience stores or fast food joints.
When ordering pasta, get half of it to go.
Pasta is great food, and if you enjoy it, there are many ways to make it healthy. But when you’re eating out, the chef has few opportunities to make your pasta healthier. That’s why we recommend asking for half of your order to go so that you can eat the portion at home that same day.
Of course, if you want some sauce with your pasta, be sure to ask about portion sizes and calories before ordering (or checking on the menu). Pasta and tomato-based sauces are often high in sodium (salt), saturated fat (fatty substances found in meat) and trans fat (partially hydrogenated vegetable oil).
Eat only half of your burger and fries.
- Eat only half of your burger and fries. The trick is to eat only half of the burger and fries. This helps you reduce the number of calories that you consume by half. If it is an all-you-can-eat deal, then this will make sure that you don’t overeat on food items with high calories, like fried chicken or even chocolate cake!
- Drink water instead of soda when eating out at restaurant chains such as Applebee’s and TGI Fridays so that you can maintain a healthy diet without worrying about gaining weight.