It can be extremely difficult to eat healthy at a restaurant. Many of the menu items are not good for you, even if seems like they are. There are different strategies that can help you stick to your diet while eating out.
Choose the restaurant wisely
You cannot always dictate what restaurant you go to (like if you’re in a group), but if the choice is up to you, try to pick a healthy option. There are many restaurants that offer a diet section or specifically focus on healthy food. Before you go, find out which restaurants are better for your health.
Look at nutritional information
Many restaurants show the nutritional information of their dishes, and many more will in the future as legislation comes into effect. Sometimes these are listed on menu but more often you have to ask for a nutritional brochure. A lot of them also list the nutritional information on the websites. Look there first so you can plan your menu before you even go. Choose the healthier options.
Do not just assume that a dish is healthy because it seems like it should be or because you make a version at home that it is. Many people think of veggie burgers as healthy fare, however at a restaurant you can get a veggie burger platter that is more than 1,000 calories. Restaurants sneak in a lot of butter, oil, salt and other unhealthy things that can add calories very quickly. Find out for sure.
Choose from a low-calorie section
If the restaurant offers a low calorie section, then order from there. Also you can often substitute healthier options for those that are worse. For instance, you may be able to substitute a vegetable for French fries.
Make the food healthier
There are many ways that you can make the food healthier at a restaurant. Something simple such as asking them not to butter the bun of a sandwich can wipe out a lot of calories. Ask them to hold very high calorie foods such as butter, oil, mayonnaise and cheese.
You can also ask them to make sauces light or put them on the side. For instance, get your salad dressing on the side and just dip your fork in it before each bite instead of smothering your salad with it.
Take home a doggie bag
The portions at many restaurants are very big. You should ask for some to go home. Do not overeat. If you know that it is too big then you can ask for half of it to be wrapped from the very beginning so that you will not eat it just because it is right in front of you.
Beware of items that can add calories
There are many things that can quickly add a lot of calories. Ask for water instead of soda. Skip dessert or look at the healthy options.
There are many ways to eat healthy at restaurants. Try all of the above strategies for the maximum efficacy.