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5 Simple Ways to Make Healthier Choices at Restaurants

Staying healthy doesn’t necessarily mean you can never eat out again! It just means you need to become more mindful and aware of what you’re putting into your body, especially if you’re not the one preparing it. From requesting the dressing on the side to saying no to the bread basket, you have the power to make your dining out experience a healthy one. Check out some tips below on how to make healthier choices the next time you decide to eat out at your favorite restaurant!

1. Look up restaurants online

Most chain restaurants will have their calorie information listed online, so that you can choose a good option before going. If they don’t, you can at least look at their menu and come up with a plan before going, which will help beat temptations. Always have a plan!

2. Eat your PM snack

If you are going to skip a snack before going out to dinner, don’t make it your PM snack. This later snack will help you go into dinner feeling slightly hungry so you are able to make better choices and are less prone to over eating. Have it a little later than usual and maybe make the snack more filling–something high in protein–so you are not famished for dinner.

3. Appetizers

We all love appetizers but a cup of fried calamari is going to add up quick. While others are ordering fried appetizers, take it upon yourself to order a nice side salad with balsamic vinaigrette so that you are eating with the group but keeping it simple and healthy. This way, you won’t be tempted by the fried, unhealthy choices at the table!

4. Choose soup before your entre’

Soup is great to eat before a meal. It will help you feel more satisfied and not overeat when the entre’ comes out. But beware of words like: cream, bisque, or chowder. These soups will be very high in fat. Stick to broth based soups and only order a cup size to get you started. Soups at restaurants are usually higher in sodium as well!

5. Don’t be afraid to ask!

When eating out, don’t be afraid to be “When Harry met Sally”.  She liked it the way she liked it. Get in the habit of asking for “no butter”, “simply grilled”, “steamed not stir fried in butter”, and “dressings or sauces on the side”. Ask nicely and 95% of the time they are happy to do it for you without feeling like you are being difficult. Restaurants tend to load up on oil and butter so if you eat out a lot, it might be a good idea to cut out some of those extra calories.

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