Sometimes eating out can feel like an exercise in self-control from the very start. And, despite good intentions, it’s easy to lose track of larger-than-life serving sizes, high-calorie beverages, and more.
Instead of just leaning on willpower alone, we’ve put together a helpful guide you can use to feel more confident about what you order and enjoy your meal.
1. Skip The Complimentary Bread And Chips.
If you’re at a place that offers bread baskets and unlimited bowls of chips, know that those calories add up and it’s easy to lose track of how much you consume before you even place your order. If you’re dining with those who are also watching what they eat, it may be easier to have these “extras” removed from the table. If not, put your focus on what you want to order or engage in conversation.
2. Do a Little Research Beforehand.
Calories are usually disclosed by establishments and many times consumers will find this information online. If you know where you’re going, scope out the menu online prior to arriving. Not only will you get an idea of what items are more nutritionally sound, but you may be surprised at the meals you would have considered before you did your research.
3. Load Up on the Good Stuff First.
And by good stuff, we mean fresh or steamed veggies. Not only are they lower in calories, but they are high in fiber which will help fill you up. Just make sure you don’t negate their healthy potential by adding butter, rich cream sauces, or cheeses.
4. Know Your Buzz Words.
Baked, steamed, roasted, grilled, or poached can be good choices. While crispy, buttery, fried, and creamy are not. See something you like on the menu that’s not healthy? Ask your server if the item can be prepared another way. By swapping out grilled foods for those that are fried, you can save yourself a lot of calories and fat, and you may even feel better after eating.
5. Check that Salad.
While salads can trick us into thinking they are healthy, more times than not, their ingredient list can meet or exceed a cheeseburger. To make sure your salad stays on the healthy side, choose one with lots of veggies and a vinegar-based dressing, or opt for your dressing on the side. Skip any candied nuts, cheeses, croutons, bacon, and the like.
You’re on the right track
When it’s time to set the stage for healthy options, make sure you start your day off on the right foot. After all, it’s easy to throw in the towel if you feel like you’ve already blown your goals for healthy eating.
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