Although I don't go out to restaurants nearly as much as I used to (due to learning how to cook at home), I still try to keep it semi-healthy when I am out and about.
Here are some of my most valuable tips for when you are going out to eat at restaurants.
1. Just because you order a salad, doesn't make it automatically healthy. Remember that those bacon bits, dressings, and other extra ingredients on your salad can actually make the meal just as fatty and high calorie as the steak and burger meals. Adding fruit, nuts, and seeds can be very filling and create a much healthier version of the salad.
2. Order a water with lemon in it, or some other kind of chopped up fruit. I love adding fruit to my water instead of powder from the grocery store because I know exactly what is going into my drink. This adds a natural sweetener to my chilled water.
3. Ask the server to double or even triple the number of vegetables on your plate. Vegetables are extremely filling, and very nutritious when steamed. Steaming vegetables can help retain the nutrients in the food while boiling the vegetables can actually lose the nutrients in the water.
4. Many people tend to go for the “healthy menu” immediately, but that doesn't mean you should completely ignore all of the other options on the menu. Most people end up eating the entire “healthy” option of a meal because it's lower in calories, therefore they feel less guilty. If you are to get a meal of your choosing, (mine would be a burger and fries), I would end up boxing half of my meal because it always ends up being so filling, while the “healthy” versions are not as satiating.
5. Ask for a box when your meal arrives. I do this early on because if I wait too long, I'll keep eating my meal until my box arrives, which can sometimes be 15-30 minutes later depending on how busy the server is.
I highly recommend checking out the 14-Day Lean Clean if you're trying to eat healthier and change your lifestyle around. The book is filled with tons of useful information (over 200 pages worth!).
6. Do not order dessert at the end of your meal (if you're trying to eat healthily). Most desserts are a whopping 1000 calories or more. If you do decide to order a dessert, share it with your friends or partner.
Lastly, remember that everyone deserves a meal of their choosing every now and then. Remember that moderation is key and don't deprive yourself of your favorite foods. Learn how to make your favorite unhealthy meals in a healthier version. Google can be very helpful in finding healthy swaps for unhealthy versions of ingredients.
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How do you stay healthy at restaurants? Do you have any tips you can share on how to eat healthier and make better decisions at restaurants?