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Eating Healthy While Eating Out

Meal Planning

I guess you could call me foodie. I love going out to eat and trying new restaurants, new foods, and new drinks. I’ll even admit, I love throwing a good filter on my food before Instagramming it. Who doesn’t love a good #foodporn? But here’s the thing, many people associate going out to eat with unhealthy meals. It doesn’t need to be that way! You bet my Instagram feed is filled with healthy meals I ate while out to dinner. Eating healthy while eating out isn’t as hard as you may think. Just follow these simple rules:

1. Start with a glass of water. Studies have shown that if you drink a glass of water before a meal, you’ll eat less. Why? It fills you up just a bit. Planning on ordering a cosmo? You’ll definitely need to stay hydrated while you’re at it. You need eight cups a day anyway so before your meal is a perfect time to drink up.

2. Skip the bread. Especially if you’re going to be ordering a heavy meal like pizza, pasta, or a burger & fries, all of those carbs will leave you feeling bloated and tired. Choose your carb wisely. We tend to mindlessly eat and fill up on bread if it’s sitting right in front of us. Ask your server not to bring out the breadbasket so you can avoid the temptation altogether. If you’re starving, take one roll on your plate and push the basket aside (it’s that whole avoiding temptation thing again).

3. Watch what you drink. Do I sound like your mother? She may have had a point! If you want to have a cocktail with dinner, stick to ones that are made without syrup. You’ll save yourself a ton of calories and a hangover tomorrow morning from all the added sugar. Opt for a lighter drink like glass of wine or a vodka soda instead.

4. Ask for modifications. Don’t be afraid to ask your server for a few changes in your order. Restaurants add a ton of unnecessary ingredients that make their food unhealthier than it needs to be. Ask for no butter or light oil to avoid extra fat content. Ask for sauces and dressings on the side so you can pour it on yourself. Ask for veggies or a salad instead of fries. Small requests and modifications can turn a not-so-healthy meal into a really healthy meal!

 5. Save room for dessert. If you’ve followed steps 1-4, you should still have room for dessert when the time rolls around. Don’t just get dessert because it’s available but if tonight’s special is chocolate lava cake, maybe think about splitting it with whomever you’re with. Nobody said healthy means giving up dessert. It’s all about moderation! I wouldn’t suggest getting dessert every time you go out to eat but a splurge every now and then never killed anybody.

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3 Responses

  1. Good ideas all around. There are so many dishes that I assume would be healthy at restaurants that are just swimming in butter — especially at places that don’t have to advertise how many calories their dishes have. Of course, this doesn’t stop me; a little splurge from time to time is never a bad thing 🙂

  2. Great advice! I like to go online and check the nutritional information ahead of time when I can. It’s always surprising to see how many of the “healthy” menu items aren’t healthy at all.

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