4 ways to eat healthier when dining out

October 29, 2015

Eating at restaurants can be stressful for anyone concerned with their health. In reality, it's easy to eat healthier when you dine away from home. Want to know how you can follow your diet and still enjoy your restaurant experience? Here are four helpful tips.

4 ways to eat healthier when dining out

1. Eat half meals

If you're eating at a restaurant, chances are the portions are quite a bit larger than what you'd usually eat at home or what you should normally eat.

  • When the server brings your food, ask for a to-go box immediately and box up half of your meal before you start eating.

Boxing up half of your meal before you eat will ensure that you don't overeat just because the food is on your plate. Plus, you'll have some delicious leftovers to enjoy for another meal.

2. Drink water

Water is the healthiest thing you can consume while dining out because it also fills you up, which means you'll be less likely to overeat.

  • Start your meals with a glass of water and make sure you don't order anything else to drink.
  • Drinking only water when you eat out means you don't consume calories found in alcoholic or sugary beverages, which also saves you money.

3. Start with soup or salad

A key to helping you stay healthy when eating out is to limit your calorie intake.

  • One of the best ways to achieve this is to fill up on healthy, low-calorie foods so that the menu's less-healthy options don't tempt you.
  • Start your restaurant meal with a salad or healthy soup. Both salad greens and brothy soups are filling, so eating them before your entrée (which tend to be higher-calorie options) can help control the amount you eat.

Make sure you choose a healthy salad without fattening add-ons, like bacon, cheese and croutons. It's also important to choose a healthy soup that isn't cream-based or topped with melted cheese.

4. Get the sauce on the side

To further limit the number of extra calories you get in your meals out, order your dressing or sauce on the side to limit the amount you use.

  • Not only are portions too big at most restaurants, but the amount of dressing or sauce applied to foods is just as large.
  • Getting your sauce on the side allows you to enjoy the delicious taste of the sauce when you want it. It also prevents having the true flavour of your food from getting obliterated.
  • More importantly, it allows you to control the number of calories you consume.

Many restaurants offer fare that, while delicious, is very unhealthy if you overdo it. And although it might be tempting to throw in the health-conscious towel when dining at a restaurant, with a little effort you can still enjoy your meal minus all the calories.

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