Debra Johnson shares smart tips on eating healthier without slipping over unforeseen calories at restaurants.
Dining out can be a nightmare experience for people who are trying to lose weight. Restaurants are full of temptations and diet disasters, and even people who are trying to order dishes that they think are healthy options can end up taking in an entire day’s worth of calories in just one sitting. If you’re trying to keep your calories in check while still spending time out with the family or significant other, use these tips to enjoy your meal without going overboard:
- Be mindful of dressings and sauces. One of the easiest ways to ruin your diet is to order a meal that is slathered in dressing or sauce, as they can easily tack on hundreds of extra calories to an otherwise healthy meal. Instead opt to have your dressings or sauces on the side so that you control how much goes onto your entrée.
- Don’t sacrifice what you want for what you want right now. Sure those fried chicken tenders may be jumping off the menu at you right now, but are you really going to be happy with that decision in a few hours? Probably not. Stay away from entrees that are fried or come in butter or cream-laden sauces and instead order meals that are grilled or blackened.
- Skip the bread or chip basket. How often do you make your way through an entire basket of bread or chips and then turn around and demolish your entrée? While the bread or chips may keep you busy before your meal arrives, it’s also going to keep you busy as you try to undo the damage from eating hundreds of calories before dinner. Ask the waitress to hold the basket and stick to eating only your meal.
- Beware of salad bombs. Salads can be deceiving at restaurants, disguising themselves as a healthy choice when they really can pack in more calories than the fried shrimp dish. If your salad is topped with tons of cheese, crispy toppings, fried chicken, and heavy dressings then you’re probably going to be better off ordering something else. When ordering salads, get your dressings on the side and ask them to hold any crispy toppings, and opt for the ones that have grilled meats on top instead of ones that are breaded or fried.
- Split meals. Restaurant portions are notoriously oversized, however that doesn’t stop people from eating the entire meal in one sitting. To avoid doing this, split a meal with your dining partner. You’ll save yourself from the temptation of eating the whole meal simply because it’s in front of you and leave satisfied and not stuffed.
Dining out doesn’t have to derail you from your diet; you just have to be smart about the decisions you make when you do eat out.
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