Healthy Restaurant Tips

Julia KrengelFamily, FoodLeave a Comment

Do you ever eat out? Spending time at a restaurant with family and friends can be an enjoyable event! It’s fun to sit around a table, talk, and spend special time with the ones you love. However, it’s too easy to overeat. Many eat the allotted evening meal’s worth of calories in appetizers and drinks before the entre is even brought to the table! I don’t want you to damage your health or waistline, so here are some tips that will help keep you slim, healthy, and guilt-free.

  1. Decide before you arrive. Check out the menu before you arrive at the restaurant and make your choice before you are hungry. When you arrive, don’t look at the menu. This will help prevent last minute emotional impulses.
  2. Water please! Most of us don’t drink enough water so get in a full glass of water before your meal arrives. This will help fill the stomach and keep you from drinking unneeded nutrient deficient calories.
  3. Nix the junk. Avoid the obvious: greasy burgers, fried, battered, smothered, and stuffed food items. These items are loaded with fat, sodium, and health damaging calories.
  4. Low sodium, low fat. Great choices are chicken, sirloin, and seafood.
  5. Ask questions. How is the food prepared? Sometimes, the menu will not list every item they use to prepare the food. When ordering, ask your server how the food is prepared and what ingredients are used. This will help prevent unfortunate surprises when the food arrives at your table.
  6. Avoid the sauce. This is where all the calories, fat, and sodium lies! Anything described as saucy, buttery, cheesy, etc. should be left off the meal or at least placed on the side to avoid over indulgence.
  7. Skip the appetizer and bread. Ask your server to not even bring bread to the table. If it’s there, you will eat it out of boredom. This is a waste of calories!
  8. Dressing on the side. A salad is a great option! However, the dressing can turn it from a healthy item to a very harmful one. Stick with Oil and Vinegar, vinaigrette, or Italian. Put these on the side so you don’t use too much. Stick your fork in the dressing, then stab the lettuce. This way, you will get flavor without using too much dressing. Avoid the ranch, honey mustard, and especially Caesar dressings.
  9. Ask for a to-go container when the entre is served. Immediately remove approximately half of your meal and place it in the to-go container. Remember, you will still get to enjoy the entire meal. You are just saving some of it for enjoyment later.
  10. Eat slow. It takes time for your stomach to tell your brain that it is full. Eating slow will improve digestion and give your body time to communicate how much food it needs.
  11. Enjoy the company! The best memories can be made around the dinner table! Be aware of the people with you and get to know them more. This can and should be the highlight!
  12. Fruit for dessert. If you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, choose a small bowl of fresh fruit. This will curb cravings and finish off your meal with a treat.


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