There may be other weight loss tips out there that says dining out is unhealthy. This is somewhat true because it’s easier to eat healthy when you’re at home as you can take the time to plan your meals carefully. But did you know that it’s still possible to lose weight even when you’re dining out? Yes! The truth is, you can still enjoy eating outside but still lose weight as long as you’re careful on what foods to eat.
The moment we arrive at a restaurant, we immediately browse the menu and find something to eat. Without planning it carefully, you’ll end up ordering high calorie foods like pizza, cheeseburger, french fries, and any other unhealthy menu choices. But when you take your time to think what meal to get, you’ll be able to think thoroughly what meal to eat and see if it’s healthy or not. Below are 10 tips to help you dine out without blowing away your healthy eating habits.
Study the Menu Before Picking Something Up
- When you’re still at home, it’s a good thing to go to the restaurant’s website and check out their menu in advance so that you can go and plan what meals to take when you’re ready. Planning ahead helps you stick to your healthy eating habits. And even more, it can give you the chance to research how much calories and fat a meal has so you can pick other healthier options.
Choose Water or Unsweetened Tea to go with Your Meal
- When the waiter asks you what drinks you want to go with your meal, choose a glass of water with lemon or unsweetened tea. Water is a healthier option and can also save you from gaining several hundred calories.
Choose Grilled, Steamed, or Broiled Entrees
- Choosing grilled, steamed, or broiled foods is a better choice, since these entrees are not cooked in a bunch of butter or oil. Avoid ordering fried, sautéed, or foods that are bathed in creamy sauces because these contains high amounts of calories.
Just Because it’s a Salad Doesn’t Mean It’s Healthy
- Many of us think that a salad is the healthiest option when dining out. Well you have to think again because some restaurants put a bunch of unhealthy and fatty ingredients to their salads. Avoid salads that’s bathed in too much salad dressing, mixed with bacon, cheese, croutons, and nuts. If you want to go for a salad, order the one with a dressing on the side or choose a low-fat version if there is one.
Limit Your Calories Whenever Possible
- If you ordered a hamburger or anything that take you in control over the way the food is prepared, it’s important to skip the following to avoid gaining extra calories and fat:
- Mayonnaise or mayonnaise-based sides like coleslaw, potato salad
- Cheese or cheese based entrees or sides
- Unlimited bread
- Heavy sauces
- French fries (go for healthier alternatives instead)
- Baked potato (replace this with a plain sweet potato)
Split Your Meal
- Most restaurants may offer you large servings of meals that’ll tempt you to overeat. If possible, choose a meal that you can split or a meal that you wouldn’t mind having leftovers. Once the waiter brings your meal to the table, always ask for a to-go container or bag if you’re eating alone and have no one to split your meal with. Put half of the meal on the container and get it out of your sight. In this way, you can peacefully eat the other half of your meal and save the one for later as a snack when you get home.
Be The First to Order
- When you’re eating out with your friends and family, quickly grab that menu and order first so that you’re not tempted to order the same thing your friends or family will have. If you can’t do it, just keep it cool and remember to choose the right meal before ordering.
Eat at a Slower Pace
- The slower you eat, the more time you’ll savor each bite of your meal especially if you’re eating half of your entrée. Try putting down your utensils on the table after each every bite so that you’re forced to chew slowly while savoring the flavor inside your mouth.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
- When you eat outside, it’s easy to be tempted by lots of alcoholic beverages that may be flooding the “drinks” section on the menu. But always remember that you have a weight to maintain. Instead, you can alternatively order low carb drinks. Stay out of that deliciously looking margarita or pina colada and go for wine or light beer instead. It’s even better to skip them entirely and just have a glass of water instead. The benefit of limiting alcohol is that it can prevent you from accidentally overeating.
It’s A Hard Choice but Try Skipping Dessert
- Yes! You heard that right. It may be hard to do but it’s advisable to settle down your stomach first before having one. If you still want to order a dessert, wait for at least 20 minutes after you’ve finished your meal. Some restaurants offer huge desserts that’s full of calories and fat. If you decided to have one, it’s better to split it with someone else on the table. And if you’re eating alone, try splitting it in half and put the other half on a to-go container like what we have mentioned earlier.