Tips to Choose Wisely & Eat Healthy When Dining Out
With enormous portion sizes and a limited selection of healthy foods to choose from in many restaurants, eating out often leads to consuming too much food, and too much of the wrong things. This can be especially problematic if you tend to dine out often due to work or travel. However, there are a few key changes you can make to keep your eating on track, no matter where you are.
- Have a plan. If you know you will be dining at a restaurant later in the day, eat a light breakfast or lunch and snack on veggies and fruit. If you have a big lunch with coworkers, cut back on calories at dinnertime. If possible, research online menus ahead of time and opt for a restaurant with a wide range of menu items.
- Be deliberate when ordering. Knowing the basics of cooking can help you control calories when ordering. Steamed, grilled, baked and broiled dishes have fewer calories than fried and sautéed items or foods described as “crispy,” “rich” or “au gratin.” Achieve balance in your meal by including selections from each of the different food groups: lean meat, low- or non-fat dairy, vegetables, fruit and whole grains.
- Ask for substitutions for high-calorie items. Swap the fries for a side salad, baked potato or fruit. Ask for low-fat dressing on the side, and use it sparingly. Most restaurants want to accommodate their clients’ nutritional needs, so don’t be afraid to make special requests.
- Control portions. Many restaurant entrees are large enough for two or three people. In addition to ordering menu items that contain fewer calories, eat a smaller portion and save the rest for another meal. Another trick is to order an appetizer or side dish and add a small salad to prevent overeating.
- Think about the drink. Opt for water, fat-free or low-fat milk, and other drinks without added sugar to complement your meal. The empty calories in soda add up quickly and offer no nutritional value. Not only is water essential in staying hydrated, it can also create a sense of fullness.
Live Healthy with RediClinic
If you want to live healthier, RediClinic walk-in clinics offer comprehensive health screenings to motivate you to achieve and maintain good health. Our screening packages are affordable and designed to detect serious but asymptomatic conditions that can threaten your health and well-being. Make an online appointment to be seen today at a RediClinic walk-in clinic near you.