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So you want to eat out and you want to eat healthy. You should not have to fret if you plan correctly. Think about the where you are going to eat, look at the menu, and select the meal that works with your plan. Now make those reservations and let us get moving.
Where to eat
*Your choice of restaurant can make all the difference. Therefore, when you chose a restaurant, make sure that you chose one that has a diverse menu with options for everyone (consider your other guests too). If it is one you are familiar with, great. If not, go to their website and see what is available
*PlanningDepending on when you decided to eat out, you should plan your meals accordingly. If you decide to go out to dinner before you eat your lunch, then you should have a light lunch, breakfast, and snacks during that day. If you decide to eat dinner after you already ate a large lunch or breakfast, then have a smaller dinner.
*Navigate your way through the healthiest choices for food preparation. Frying or sautéing usually are types of preparation to avoid. Remember that “rich” means rich in calories just as crispy means fried. The type of foods that you should look for are broiled, steamed, or baked food preparation is also important in controlling calories and fat intake.
What to Order
*Put some balance in your meal by choosing something from all food groups. Go down the checklist for grains, dairy, meat, fruits, and vegetables. A great way to get that healthy meal is by ordering a salad.as an entrée. However, stay away from those “healthy salad invaders” such as croutons or heavy dressing (select a low calorie alternative). You can enjoy something with chicken, seafood, or cheese in a salad and get the vitamins, protein, and fiber.
*Do not ruin a healthy sandwich with unhealthy extras. Keep it low fat with mustard, ketchup, mustard, or relish (hold the mayo). Stay with the classic lettuce, tomato, and onions. If you want a dressing, keep it low fat.
*A side dish can supplement your meal and keep it healthy all the same. Fruit, salad, or a baked potato is great options. If you want to top your spud with a little extra nutrition, salsa, chili, or veggies will do the trick.
*When the waiter asks you if you want fries with that, say, “No, I want a salad.” Make sure the dressing is low-calorie.
*Don’t see what you want? Ask. If the customer is always right, then the restaurant customer is right to ask for a special order. Most restaurants are willing to help with your reasonable special request.
*If the restaurant does not have portion control, you need to have it anyway. If the portions are too large, then do not finish the meal. Look at the menu and see if the appetizer version of the entrée would be a better choice. Do not be afraid to ask for a doggy bag. Also, stay away from the entrees with the largest number of calories.
Slow it down.
*Aside from bad manners, eating quickly means you are not letting your stomach notify your brain that you are not hungry. Your brain needs 20 minutes to digest the news. Eating fast means eating more. Slow eaters usually eat less and enjoy more.
Kids and Healthy Dining Out
*If you are bringing kids along and want them to eat healthy, then you should find a restaurant that welcomes kids and includes nutritional meals on its kid’s menus. The meals will be smaller than and just as healthy as the adult meals.
*Stay away from sodas, sugary drinks, and fattening desserts. Drink milk, just like at home, and have some fruit for dessert.
*To restrict the amount of sauce, have it delivered on the side.
*Carrots and apples are better than fries. This goes for kids as well as adults…
*Limit the child’s choices to those things that are healthy.
*Do not have your child try something for the first time when you are out. Do you want to pay to find out your child hates squid? If they want something new, have them try a little bit of your meal.
*Strong bones come from getting the daily requirements of calcium; this does not stop when your child is in the restaurant. The child should have milk as a beverage and cheese if he or she has a sandwich. For dessert, try frozen yogurt or a fruit smoothie.
Do not let restaurants scare you, you can get your healthy meals and still it out. Plan ahead and you can enjoy your trip out without ruining your diet for the week.