Healthier Options When Eating Out
So you plan to eat healthy and you’re sticking with your goals. Then your schedule gets busy and you don’t have as much time to prepare meals at home. Or there are a lot of gatherings and birthday dinners that we find ourselves eating out more often. This makes it difficult to stick to our goals. We can’t really get out of those birthday dinners, so how can we make better choices when eating out? Here are some tips to make healthier choices when eating out.
- Make your dish healthier by asking for more vegetables. Substitute your fries with a green salad or cooked vegetables. You can also ask for extra vegetable toppings on burgers, pizzas and sandwiches.
- Choose whole grains as often as you can. Choose whole wheat or whole grain buns, wraps, pasta or pizza crust. Opt for brown rice when available. A lot of sushi places give you the option of brown or black rice instead of white rice.
- How is it prepared? Healthier options include meals that have been steamed, grilled, broiled, baked or roasted.
- When choosing meat, choose leaner cut meats such as roast beef, chicken or turkey breast, and fish.
- Deciding to get a salad? Salads can be a healthier option, but not all salads are made the same. When opting for salads, ask for the sauce on the side and use a small amount. In general, sauces and dressings can add extra calories and fat. Ask for these on the side where you can control the portion you’re adding.
- What about drinks? This is where we get a lot of empty calories. Choose water or low-fat milk instead of sweetened beverages. Other great options are sparkling water with lemon or lime wedges. If you’re really craving a sugary drink, choose the smallest size. For alcoholic drinks, limit yourself to one to two drinks per day.
- Portions: Research shows that the larger the serving in front of us, the more we tend to it. At restaurants, portion sizes are usually are much larger than what we normally eat. Ask for half portions, share your meal with a friend or pack up part of your meal to take home.
- If you’re eating at a fast-food restaurant, there is usually the option of super-sizing. This might sound like a good deal, but it is much more than you really need. It’s those extras can add up.
- Desserts, who doesn’t love deserts? Pick a dessert and ask for as many spoons to share with your friends at the table. This way you get your treat and you watch your portions.