10 Tips for Making Healthier Choices in Restaurants

Posted on January 14, 2014 at 12:51 pm by

Happy Talk It Out Tuesday (: Today’s topic: how to make healthier choices while dining out. Let’s be honest…eating out is a big part of most of our lives these days. When you’re going to catch up with a friend it’s over lunch. Someone’s birthday? Out to celebrate. Not enough time to make dinner tonight? Let’s just go out and grab a quick bite.

It’s unrealistic to think that you’re never going to find yourself eating out. So instead of throwing a fit when you have to eat out, let’s focus on making the healthiest choices that we can and enjoying the company that we’re with!

10 Tips for Making Healthier Choices in Restaurants

1. Plan ahead. Almost all restaurants have their menu and nutritional facts posted online. It helps me steer clear from temptation if I know what I’m going to order before I open the menu at the table. Then I can order what I chose online and not get captivated by those drool-inducing photos of french fries and hamburgers.

2. Always order H2O. Hello, first of all water is FREE so your bill will be cheaper. Not to mention that water is actually healthy. Making sure to drink water throughout your meal will ensure that you will get full without overeating. Did you know that sometimes when you feel hungry, that your body is actually just dehydrated and needing water?!

3. Sharing is caring. It’s no secret that most restaurant portions are ridiculously huge. Instead of ordering a whole entree for yourself, consider splitting one with a friend (which also means splitting the price…win).

4. Box up 1/2 of your entree right away. It sounds weird, but it really helps me. I know that if I am full, but there is still a heaping amount of food on that plate in front of me that I will pick at it. I will pick until I am about to explode…which I’m sure isn’t a pretty sight. When you order, ask your waiter or waitress to bring out a to-go box with your meal. Put half of it away and then start to eat the other half. Two meals in one…BOOM. I’m saving you all kinds of money today (;

5. The meal that is the best bang for your buck won’t always give you a banging bod. And not I’m not just talking physically here. The stuff that is cheap on the menu isn’t going to do your insides any good either. All you can eat buffets are nice for your wallet, but not so much for your body. Unless you have stellar self control, I would steer clear of buffets and all you can eat meals. I’d rather opt for paying a bit more and getting a nice piece of grilled fish or chicken with yummy veggies rather than paying less for something that is going to make me feel like crap later. Oh and please, for the love of health & fitness, say no to super sizing anything…

6. Sauces on the side. This includes salad dressings. You would be amazed at how much they put on your food. If you have it brought out on the side, you can use it sparingly and save yourself a ton of calories. Most dressings and condiments are loaded with calories, sugar, and fat….those sneaky sauces.

7.  Grilled and steamed are your friends. Try to stay away from anything that is fried. I personally think that when food is grilled or steamed that the flavor is better…you get to taste the actual food rather than breading that’s wrapped around it.

8. Say no to the side of fries. The most common side dish is french fries. It seems like no matter what type of restaurant you go to, they offer fries.  I know that before I cared about eating healthy, I didn’t even see what other sides were offered at restaurants…I would always order French fries, because I knew almost every place would have them. Don’t be afraid to substitute fries for a steamed veggie or salad. Your waistline (and heart) will thank you.

9. Don’t show up to the restaurant in a ravenously hungry state. Have a healthy snack an hour or two before you go so that your stomach already has some food in it and you have a better chance of avoiding overeating. When I have a snack before I go out to eat, I’m less likely to be dipping my hands in the bread bowl that usually comes out before a meal is served.

10. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make meal adjustments. Some people get embarrassed by asking questions, but really who are you hurting if you don’t ask? Yourself. The waiter or waitress probably could care less if you ask a weird question. They’ll forget by the time they serve a couple more tables anyway. If you don’t like sides that come with a meal, change them. If you don’t want that extra cheese sprinkled on your salad, order it without.

Going out to eat is meant to be enjoyed. So…enjoy yourself! But try to do so without overindulging so that you don’t regret your choices later (:
See y’all Friday with a new workout!

xo, Jessica

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2 Comments

  • “The meal that is the best bang for your buck won’t always give you a banging bod.” So true!

    Along those lines I think is the idea of not wanting to waste food, so one eats whether they’re full or not. It’s been great for me to realize that once I’ve had enough, that food that’s still on my plate isn’t going to do my body any good.

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