8 Tips For Making Healthy Choices At A Restaurant

Many people dine out regularly in today’s fast paced world. It’s convenient, but it can be difficult to make healthy food choices. The menus of restaurants are filled with tempting foods that are high-calorie, high-fat, and high sodium. With a little knowledge and planning, you can still dine out while eating healthy foods that help support your health goals. Here are eight tips that will help you to navigate restaurant menus, and make healthier food choices.

Plan ahead

Before you go to a restaurant take the time to look at the menu on-line. You should look for dishes that have been grilled, steamed or roasted, rather than fried. Online nutrition information is available from many restaurants, which will help you to make an informed decision about what you order.

Select Lean Proteins

When choosing a main course, choose lean proteins such as grilled fish, chicken or tofu. These choices are lower in calories and saturated fat than dishes that use fatty meats or proteins that have been breaded or fried. They also provide important nutrients such as protein and omega-3 fats.

Vegetables Are Rich in Vitamins, Minerals, and Fiber

Vegetables make a great healthy meal. You should look for dishes with a wide variety of vegetables as either a side dish or a component. You can ask to have extra vegetables added to your dish or replace them with less healthy choices like fries or mashed potato.

Portion Sizes

The portions at restaurants are usually much larger than the ones you would eat in your home. Consider sharing an entree or requesting a half-portion to avoid overeating. When your meal arrives, you can ask for a container to go and take half home to eat another time.

Be aware of dressings and sauces 

Many salads and entrees include dressings or other sauces which can contain high levels of calories, fat and sodium. Choose dressings that are served on the side, so you can choose how much to use. You can also opt for lighter alternatives like salsa or vinaigrettes. You can ask to have sauces served on the sides or even omitted.

Limit extras

Be aware of extras such as bread baskets and appetizers. They can add calories quickly and ruin your efforts to eat healthy. You can enjoy a glass of wine or cocktail, but opt for a lighter option like a spritzer. You can limit yourself to just one piece of bread or skip the basket entirely.

Stay Hydrated

Sometimes thirst is mistaken for hunger and can lead to an overeating. Avoid sugary drinks like soda or sweetened iced-tea and drink water during your meal to prevent this. You can add a little flavor to your sparkling water by adding a bit of lime or lemon.

Listen To Your Body

Pay Attention to your hunger and feeling of fullness throughout the meal. Slowly eat and enjoy each bite. Stop when you are satisfied, not stuffed. It’s fine to leave leftovers on your plate when you are full.

Following these tips will help you make healthier dining choices without feeling deprived. You can still enjoy your restaurant meals and achieve your health goals with a little planning and mindfulness. Next time you find yourself faced with tempting menu options, remember these tips to help you make healthy choices.

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