Eating out with friends doesn’t have to sabotage your efforts to eat well. Healthy eating doesn’t stop on the weekends! Use these tips to keep your goals in sight and feel better after a weekend of some indulging.
10 Tips for Dining Out Healthy
- Have a plan. Strategically pick a restaurant that you know has some healthy options. Convince your friends to eat there too! Eat a small snack a couple hours before dining out so you aren’t ravenous when you show up to dinner.
- Check the menu before you leave home. It is much easier to stick to healthy options when you’ve already decided before arriving. This way it will be harder for a less healthy menu item to sway your decision.
- Skip fancy drinks. Fancy drinks can be loaded with sugar. Stick to wine or a simple mixed cocktail that isn’t a sugar bomb. Remember, ordering water is healthy and helps save a bit of money!
- Ask how the food is prepared. You may not realize a menu item is fried or cooked in butter. So ask! The more you know, the easier it will be to make a decision.
- Customize your order. You can always make changes to what you order. Opt for a lighter salad dressing, a different cooking oil, or get something baked/steamed/grilled instead.
- Avoid ordering extras. Try not to add extra dressings, extra toppings, and anything “loaded.” This will save you calories and decrease the fat.
- Practice portion sizes. You don’t have to feel obligated to finish your meal. You can always take some home and eat it later. Eat until you are full and don’t over do it.
- Split menu items. Speaking of portion sizes – splitting food with a friend can give you that bite you are looking for without eating an entire portion of something you know you’ll regret later.
- Eat slowly. The slower you eat, the more you will be aware of when you are actually full. Not to mention you can focus on the conversation at the table instead of finishing your meal in record time.
- Skip dessert. I know it’s tough. But this will save you calories and money. Skip dessert and have a small piece of chocolate or fruit when you get home. You’ll thank yourself later.