Dining out in America can be a lot to swallow when portions are double the recommendation, and foods are often fried or cooked with lots of butter and fats.
However, you can still dine out at your favorite places and make sure what you’re eating isn’t so bad for your body. Read on to find out more....
Ways to Avoid Restaurant Overeating
Overeating can be a big problem at restaurants. Think about the chips and salsa or bread basket brought to the table and frequently refilled. Two ways to combat this are to simply say no at the start or don’t take a refill when your basket is getting low. DON'T TAKE THE REFILL!
Splitting meals or asking for a to-go box as soon as you feel full helps to manage portions. I love leftovers so the idea of getting two meals for the price of one is enough for me to leave some of my food to take home.
Go in with a Plan
Go into a restaurant with a plan. One idea can be to only share an appetizer and decide to skip dessert. Look at the menu ahead of time so you can focus on options you may want to eat instead of feeling rushed to order and making a bad choice.
Additionally, do not go to the restaurant if you are really hungry!
Keeping your body well fueled throughout the day will help you avoid overindulgence. Contrary to popular belief you should not skip meals or starve yourself the day before you go out to eat. The calories you believe you’re saving will likely be consumed during the meal out because you’re so hungry. Instead, eat normally, and enjoy your meal out in moderation.
Never be afraid to ask your server how your food will be prepared. Nicely asking your server if the fried shrimp can be grilled or if your broccoli can be butter-free. This is a great way to have more control over what you’re eating.
The worst they can say is no, so why not ask!
Healthy Options Close to Home
Although eating out may seem like a sure-fire way to eat more calories than you want, there are a lot of healthy options around town if you just look closely at their menus. Here are some of my local favorites.
§ Tuna Plate with side salad.
§ Caesar salad with grilled chicken and dressing on the side (so you control how much goes on your salad).
§ Turkey burger (I like to only eat the bottom bun) and add the vegetable of the day or a side salad.
§ Just Right Combo Meal with small personal pizza (I add veggies to the pizza) and the side salad.
§ Turkey or chicken hoagie with French onion soup.
§ Tuna plate when on the menu (seasonal item).
§ Grilled buffalo chicken wrap.
§ Mediterranean pasta with chicken or shrimp.
§ Fresh Atlantic salmon with Brussels sprouts and seasoned rice.
§ Pistachio crusted chicken with whipped potatoes and Brussels sprouts.
§ Any of the fish or seafood options baked or grilled with the vegetable.
§ House Pad Thai with protein.
§ Steamed rice, vegetables, and a protein such as chicken.
§ Stir fry with a protein that isn’t breaded and the vegetables with brown rice.
Hopefully, this shows you can enjoy dining out while sticking to your healthy habits. If you would like more information or want to schedule a personal appointment go to myfitnesssuites.com and book an appointment with Claire Garbsch, registered dietitian nutritionist.