All Women's Talk

7 Healthy Tips for Eating out ...

By Jennifer

You’re a social butterfly, not a homebody, so eating every meal at home is almost torture for you. But you’re also diet-conscious, looking to eat healthy no matter where you’re enjoying a meal. Since most diet tips are meant to be used in your own kitchen, how are you supposed to eat out but still stick to your diet? I can help. I’ve chatted with my personal trainer and done a little Jillian Michaels-related digging. Here are 7 healthy tips for eating out. Bon appetite!

1 Plan Ahead

Most restaurants have websites that list their menu, and all of the ingredients in every dish, along with a calorie count. One of the best healthy tips for eating out, then, is to plan ahead a little. Visit the restaurant’s website and plan your meal before you leave the house, so you know what you’ll be eating, and whether or not you’ll be able to splurge a little on dessert, since you were so smart about dinner.

2 Skip the Dairy

I know it’s nearly impossible to eat Mexican food without sour cream, or Italian without cheese, but those two dairy items alone add loads of calories, most of them from fat. This leads me to my next healthy eating tip for eating out: skip the dairy, or ask for low-fat or skim dairy instead. You’d be surprised; a lot of restaurants do offer these options!

3 Go Naked!

No, I’m not suggesting you show up for dinner without clothes (that could cause painful burns!)… I mean to order your food without condiments and dressing, which will also add calories from fat and sugar. That nice mixed green salad has a lot of flavor of its own, so why add ranch dressing? And who needs mayo on a veggie delight sub?

4 Split the Meal

Keeping in mind that most restaurants serve two full meals on one plate, why not consider this healthy eating tip for dining out, and save a little money, besides? Splitting a meal can be romantic and sweet, and it’ll keep you from over-eating.

5 Take Half

Dining alone, or simply don’t want to split a meal? Then when you order your meal, ask for half of it to be boxed before the meal is brought to you. There! They’ve packed your lunch for tomorrow, and you’ve kept to your diet with proper serving sizes!

6 Watch the Drinks

That after-dinner venti pumpkin spice latte sounds good, but wow, is it loaded with calories, more than 500 of them! Heck, the Applebee’s hot fudge shooter dessert has fewer calories than that! The moral: if you’re looking for a healthy tip for eating out that includes dessert or a drink, my advice would be to choose one, not both… or better yet, to opt for the plain black coffee, and share that shooter.

7 Hold up

If you’re dining out with friends, why rush the meal? Take your time to savor each bite, along with the stellar dinner conversation. Chew every bite of your food, rather than wolfing it down. This will give you plenty of quality time with your friends, and it will also give your brain the time it needs to register that your belly is comfortably full. This is a healthy tip for dining out that has nothing to do with deprivation, and everything to do with enjoyment!

I really hope that now that you’ve read these healthy tips for eating out, you’ll use them the next time you have a meal at your favorite restaurant! I’ll bet if you try it, you could even use them all at the same time! If you had to pick one favorite healthy tip for eating out, which of these would it be, and why? Or do you have another idea to share?

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