Thankfully, restaurants are becoming more conscientious about what they are serving. There is still a great deal of indulgences offered, but many places are starting to cater to those who are concerned with their nutritional needs. The temptation of eating out can be hard to ignore, but it’s not impossible! Below are some key points to remember while eating out.
- Don’t fill up on the bread basket. If an appetizer is desired, try a charcuterie board or a crudités platter. These usually come with fruit, nuts, cheeses, and cured meat.
- Another appetizer hack: order two apps instead of an entree. Sometimes appetizer menus have more vegetable and seafood options; this makes for a lighter and healthier option.
- Take a moment to be thankful and grateful before you eat. Recognize the importance of the food you are eating and how it is nourishing your body.
- Eat your salad first. This gives you a chance to fill up before the main meal. Studies have shown that people who eat their salad or veggies first end up eating fewer calories.
- Ask for any dressings on the side. Try dipping your fork into the dressing and then grabbing a bite of salad. You’ll end up eating less calories while still enjoying a perfect salad-to-dressing ratio.
- Try restaurants that have a slower and more calm atmosphere. This environment will end up having an effect on how much you eat. We end up eating more at places that tend to have a fast-paced tempo about them.
- Ask questions about what you are ordering. You deserve the right to know what ingredients will be in your meal. This is the perfect time to ask for substitutions if you are not happy with the original ingredients.
- Instead of the starch that typically comes with a meal (such as mashed potatoes), ask for double the veggies.
- Drink water throughout your meal. It will slow down your eating, allow you to enjoy your food, and give you time for your brain to realize you are full.
- If you are craving a drink, try a lighter drink than you would normally have. For example, sparkling water with fresh lemon or lime or an iced tea.
- If you are ordering an alcoholic beverage, don’t go for the fancy, often exotic, blended drinks. Instead, have some red wine, a vodka soda with lemon or lime, or a light beer.
- Before ordering dessert, take a minute to think about your satisfaction level. Are you satisfied? Too full? Not satisfied enough?
Too Busy Bullets:
- Stay away from the empty calories you get from bread baskets and sugary drinks.
- When ordering sides, double up on your vegetables.
- Drink water throughout your meal.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions about how your food is being prepared.