I often get asked what foods I eat when I dine out. Sometimes I like to treat myself, but on the days that I don't treat myself, I usually stick to a few rules. Here are some tips to stay on the healthier side while dining out.
Tip 1: Just because it's a salad doesn't mean it's healthier than all the other entrees on the menu. Salads can be loaded with calories even before layering the salad dressing on it. And then when you do add the salad dressing, just imagine how many calories that there are!
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Tip 2: Stick with the kid's menu. The kid's entrees are usually smaller in size and are portioned in the ways that an entree should be. This can also not be the case at some places. Kids entrees can also be as large as adults entrees, which is extremely sad. And the kid's menu is usually a lot cheaper also!
Tip 3: Order an appetizer. These are usually smaller than the entrees depending on what you get. However, of course, this isn't always true because a lot of appetizers are greasy and fried.
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Tip 4: Share an entree. Most entrees are 3-4 times the size of how big a meal should actually be. Share with your friend, and also save money in the process. Some restaurants might have a fee for “sharing entrees” but some do not. Either way, it will most likely be cheaper.
Tip 5: Tell the server to box up half the entree. By doing this you will have the actual amount of food on your plate that you should be eating. Sometimes the entree is still too large to eat for one meal but it's up to you to determine when you are actually full.
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Tip 6: Always order water with lemon. I went to a restaurant one time and needed so many refills that the lady brought out a pitcher for me. I usually drink 5 cups of water when I'm at a restaurant. That might sound like a lot, but with the amount of ice they put in the cups, it probably adds to about 3 glasses of water.
Tip 7: Stay away from words like fried, extra, large, heavy sauce, buttered, breaded, and glazed. I always stick with words like grilled, fresh, and baked.
Tip 8: Opt for a plant-based meal and choose a dish that is packed with vegetables, fruits, and grains. This will fill you up on a lot of fiber, and protein, too!
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Tip 9: Before you arrive at the restaurant, go online and find out the nutrition facts for the restaurant. This way you can be prepared when you arrive and don't have to guess which entree is best. I ALWAYS do this. Some restaurants won't post their nutrition facts. I know of a large chained restaurant that doesn't do this simply because they know people would get scared off with a number of calories in their entrees.
Tip 10: Lastly, if you plan on having a ‘treat meal' when you go to a restaurant, order what you want. It's nice to indulge every now and then. This lets your body not feel deprived of anything. Although it is your treat meal, you don't have to eat the whole entire meal. Box it up and save it for another time, or maybe someone else that would like to eat it.
Eating healthy foods is getting easier and easier, as more restaurants are coming out as plant-based, organic, and using whole foods. Some restaurants are starting to cook without oil, which can make what could possibly be a healthy meal into a very unhealthy meal by dropping in glops and glops of oil into a meal.
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Can you share a tip for when eating out at a restaurant?
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