We all love eating out. But, is it bothering you because you are on a diet and have to dine with a friend? Sure, you will be concerned about the amount of calories, fat or salt in a restaurant’s menu items. However, there’s no reason why it can’t be healthy.
It is a lot easier to make healthy choices when dining out. Just that you need a few things in your mind so that you stay within your healthy diet. Here are the 7 tips for eating out while on a diet.
Choose the right place
Always plan ahead when you know that you have to dine out. Look for the restaurants that serve delicious meals that are low in saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol or those that can prepare your food to order. Avoid eating at places that offer all-you-can-eat buffets, you’re more likely to overeat there. Once you’ve decided the place, get familiar with their food menu. Decide what you’re going to order before you go.
First, you need to be assertive when eating out; ask for changes in menu. Don’t be afraid to ask. For example – ask for a side of veggies instead of fried foods, a smaller portion of the meat and a larger portion of the salad. If you request them, you can have the food prepared the way you want it.
Start with soup
One easy approach to stick to your diet when eating out is starting with a soup. Order vegetable or bean-based but avoid cream-based soups. This will keep you from sitting hungry and fill you up.
Cut salt intake
Salt improves food’s flavour and is often used heavily in restaurant meals. When you dine out, ask the attendant to prepare food without added salt. Inquire about the ingredients to see if there are items may be higher in salt. Moreover, it is better to limit the use of condiments such as mustard, ketchup, pickles and sauces as they may contain salt that you don’t need. Instead of salty appetizers, choose fruits and vegetables’ salad.
Reduce unhealthy fats
You must always try and reduce saturated fats and cholesterol when dining out. You can do this by asking that your food is to be prepared with olive oil, rather than butter. Say no to salad dressing on the side, eat only lean meat and poultry and prefer foods cooked in healthier cooking techniques, such as steaming, baking, roasting and stir-frying.
Don’t eat it all
You have to be very particular about serving sizes when dining out. To avoid overeating, you can split a meal with a companion or put half the meal in a plate and leave the rest.
Be wary of fast food
If you are eating out at a fast-food restaurant, it can be a dietary danger zone. There you can go for a healthier option, such as a plain, single hamburger, whole-wheat bread, low-fat milk and yoghurt. Try to avoid unhealthy extras such as cheese and dressings.
Sticking to a healthy diet doesn’t mean you have to turn down everyone when asked to eat out. Just make sure you make healthier choices.