It can be frustrating to go out to eat when you’re trying to eat healthily. Unfortunately, not every state has passed the calorie count laws that require certain restaurants to provide nutritional information about the food on the menu. So it can be difficult to know what to order when you’re trying to eat smart.
If you want to know how to eat healthy when you’re eating out, try these 5 tips.
Choose the Restaurant Carefully
Many restaurants offer entrees that are double or even triple the size of a typical serving. This typically occurs at Italian or American restaurants where the words “bigger is better” come to mind. Going to Japanese, Greek, Indian, or Thai restaurants are better options because portions are better controlled, and the food is typically prepared healthier (i.e. grilled instead of fried.)
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Menus are written in a way that’s meant to entice the reader. And often, the food descriptions can be vague and riddled with terms only professional chefs know. Ask your waiter how something is prepared if you’re unsure. Often, restaurants are willing to make substitutions or changes if you ask. So if you know how to eat healthily, make sure the restaurant prepares the meal you want.
Soup or Salad First
It may sound silly to order more food than you usually would. But by ordering a soup or salad before your meal, you’re more likely to choose a lighter main course. Just make sure you choose a soup that’s not cream based, and order your salad dressing on the side!
Be Careful with Sides
Sides are a great place to substitute a healthier option. If your meal comes with a side of French fries, ask for veggies instead, or even a baked potato. There are always alternatives—healthy and lighter options to choose from. So make the right choice when picking a side.
Dessert is Okay!
You don’t have to avoid sweets like the plague when you’re to eat healthily. There are normally lower calorie options on the dessert menu. As a rule of thumb, avoid dairy-based desserts like ice cream and cheesecake, and opt for a lighter sorbet!
Eating out doesn’t have to be a miserable experience if you are trying to eat right. There are many ways to order something that is both healthy and delicious!