Eating at a restaurant is an activity we all enjoy, but the very things that make it so enjoyable pose a problem for healthy restaurant eating. Rich food, creamy sauces, high levels of salt and fat – all of these create a minefield for people who are trying to lose weight, who have certain medical conditions, or who just want to pursue a healthier lifestyle.
You Can Eat Healthy
Don’t despair! By paying attention to a few simple rules you can eat healthy, or at least healthier, at almost any restaurant.
- First, before you enter the restaurant, make a conscious decision that you will eat a healthy meal. It sounds obvious, but without that goal firmly in your mind you may well find yourself tempted by dishes you should be avoiding.
- Scan the menu and choose your meal from among the low fat options. These might be vegetarian or fish dishes, or those containing lean cuts of chicken or meat.
- Avoid meals with creamy sauces as these will almost certainly be high in fat and calories.
- Ask your waiter how the different dishes are cooked. Go for grilled, baked or boiled – not fried! Your heart and your waistline will thank you.
- Considering a salad? Great! But make sure it’s the right one. Caesar salads and those loaded with cheese and bacon may contain more fat than many cooked meals.
- Another healthy restaurant eating tip is to always ask for your dressing on the side. This way you’ll use less and save yourself unnecessary calories.
- Exercise portion control. Servings in restaurants are often overly generous. Eat two thirds and take the rest home in a doggie bag. If you absolutely must have a desert, share it with someone else at your table.
- Limit your alcohol. Healthy restaurant eating means healthy restaurant drinking too. Try alternating your alcoholic drinks with water and lemon juice.
By following these tips, and with a little thought and some determination, you’ll be able to navigate your way safely through the restaurant food minefield and achieve your goal of healthy restaurant eating.