Though fun and delicious, restaurant food can be far from nutritious. It is impossible to avoid restaurants forever, and it is fun to treat yourself once in a while. The good news is, it is not impossible to eat healthy at a restaurant. Below are a few tips to follow when dining out:
Choose your destination wisely: Before choosing a restaurant, assess all your options. Some locations clearly offer a healthier variety than others. Select a restaurant that you know provides healthy dishes. Most restaurants have their menu posted online. Therefore, you can know what kind of options are offered prior to going to the restaurant. Use the online menu to determine the restaurant where you wish to dine.
Plan ahead: As mentioned above, most restaurants provide menus on their website. Furthermore, most of these menus contain nutrition facts for their dishes. Using the menu and nutrition facts, you can easily plan ahead. With all this information, you can decide what you want to order before even stepping foot inside the restaurant. Knowing what you want beforehand will keep you from ordering junk food last minute.
Send in the subs: So suppose you choose a heavier entrée. Have no fear, simply send in the subs! Rather than pairing your entrée with the suggested fries or loaded potato, substitute a salad or fresh vegetable for your side. Subbing healthier sides can add important nutritional value to your meal and keep you from overconsuming calories and fat.
Listen to your body: One of the most important concepts to follow, regardless of what you ordered, is to listen to your body. When you’re feeling full, stop eating. Do not keep eating just clean your plate. Simply ask for a to-go box and eat the leftovers the next day. This allows you to still get your money’s worth, while not over-doing it.
Next time your friends want to go out to dinner, remember to choose the restaurant wisely, plan your order ahead of time, substitute unhealthy sides for vegetables or fruits, and listen to your body’s satiety signals. This makes for a guilt-free night out with friends that everyone can enjoy!