10 Tips For Eating Healthy While Dining Out
A healthy diet plays a key role in maintaining a healthy body. When individuals eat healthy food options, they feel energetic and their body has the right nutrients to handle the complications of their lifestyle. Eating healthy at restaurants requires particular attention to the foods available on the menu and your specific goals for a healthy diet plan.
1. Ask for Changes
Always pay attention to the details provided in the menu and ask for changes appealing to your taste and health goals. For example, ask for sauces and dressing on the side. Or, substitute an unhealthy item, like chips or fries, with a more nutritious alternative like salad or fruit. Restaurants often allow substitutions or adjustments to the cooking methods.
2. Pay Attention to Drinks
Order water or unsweetened tea rather than a soda or sugar-filled alternative. Beverages add extra calories to a meal and impact personal goals for good health.
3. Share Your Meals
Healthy eating at restaurants requires adjustments to the portion sizes. In many restaurants, portions exceed recommended levels for a single meal. Make healthy restaurant choices by sharing a meal with a friend or family member. Alternatively, ask for a box with the meal and place half of the meal in the box before eating to control portion size.
4. Plan Ahead
Impulsive decisions impact your dietary plans by limiting your choices. Decide on a restaurant before leaving home and make a plan of action regarding your meal. Identify potential substitutions and select a few healthy food options before entering the restaurant.
5. Eat Slowly
Take your time when eating a meal. As a general rule, stop eating when you feel 80 percent full. By eating slowly and stopping before you feel completely full, you reduce the impact of a delayed signal from your stomach to your brain. It takes time to process when you are full, so don’t rush when eating a meal.
6. Start With a Salad
Reduce your portion sizes by starting with a salad. Eating a salad before the main course increases your intake of healthy vegetables and reduces the total amount of calories consumed with the main course — because you already feel partially satisfied.
7. Always Eat Previous Meals
Eating healthy when dining out requires attention to your normal diet. Do not deviate from your normal routines due to plans for a meal in a restaurant. Eat a healthy breakfast and lunch. Eat your normal snacks. Avoid feeling excessively hungry when entering the restaurant.
8. Keep Extra Items on the Side
When ordering a salad, ask for extra items like cheese, dressing and even chicken or shrimp on the side. It reduces the amount of extra calories loaded into a salad and enables better portion control.
9. Eat an Appetizer
Healthy eating at restaurants does not necessarily mean eating a main course or taking extra measures to cut back on your portion sizes. Opt for an appetizer rather than a main course.
10. Skip Dessert
Avoid dessert at a restaurant. Instead, eat a piece of dark chocolate or a small portion of your favorite dessert items at home after leaving the restaurant. It provides better portion control and limits the extra calories of a sugar-rich dessert in a restaurant.
Enjoying a meal with friends and family does not necessarily mean giving up on your diet plans. Eating healthy at restaurants starts with making a plan and taking control of your portion sizes and the preparation of your meals. For more details about planning a healthy diet, contact Natural Horizons Wellness Centers today.
The above graphic was compiled and designed by Natural Horizons Wellness Centers, encouraging healthy nutrition and lifestyles through holistic, integrative programs.