It can seem impossible to eat out at a restaurant while on a diet. Even though there are so many delicious options, you can never really know how your food is prepared. Whether it’s more salt than you like, or too many carbohydrates, choosing a meal while dining out can be a real challenge. However, you can still eat out without completely sabotaging your diet. All you need is to make a few simple changes.
While you can’t control how the food is prepared, you can control what you order. It’s all about keeping your diet in perspective. Are you trying to cut out salt? Avoid the fries. Are you looking to improve your heart health? Don’t order the prime rib. Keeping healthy while dining out doesn’t have to be a headache. Don’t worry about counting every calorie. Just keep your diet goals in mind. Here are a few of my favorite tricks for eating out while on a diet.
1. Always Choose Water
When your waiter asks for your drink order, stick with water. Not only is it best for your bill, but it’s also great for your diet. Everyone knows the health benefits of water, so why not keep it up while you’re eating out. It’s a great way to keep healthy without sacrificing anything.
2. Search for Lighter Options
Most restaurants nowadays have lighter, healthier options on their menu. Search through the menu to see if there is a vegetarian or counting-calories section. If not, then stick with your gut. If the food choice sounds healthy, then go for it. Be on the lookout for words such as organic, fresh, and leafy greens.
3. Choose Your Sides Correctly
Step away from the French Fries! When it comes to your meal, it’s important to choose your sides correctly. Avoid heavy options like mashed potatoes and baked beans. These are both filling options that are loaded with calories. Stick to side items such as salads and roasted vegetables in order to keep your diet on track.
4. Stick To Leaner Proteins
Red meat isn’t always best for those on a diet. It can harden your blood vessels as well as add a bunch of iron to your diet. Talk with your doctor before making any drastic changes, however, it doesn’t hurt to stick to leaner proteins such as chicken or fish. Not only is there a big difference in calorie intake, but lean meat can also improve your cholesterol as well.
5. Take Advantage Of Take-Away
One of my favorite diet tricks is to not eat everything on my plate while I’m at the restaurant. If a portion looks too big or if I’m just not that hungry, I always ask for my food to be wrapped up to-go. This way you aren’t wasting food, yet you aren’t eating too much either. It allows for portion control, while eating out.
6. Avoid Free Starters
Chips, breadsticks, and other free starters can do major damage to your diet. These starters are usually loaded with carbohydrates, and can fill you up before you even get your meal. In order to avoid temptation, ask your waitress to remove the starter. This is a big step for keeping your diet on track.
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