Do You Eat Right while Dining Out?

7de69a1c-72a5-48c5-9adf-165c450ddead (1)Eating out, whether in restaurants or food joints is convenient.    The result of eating out is less favourable for your health.  Fast foods contain high calories.  You need to consider the sodium and other food additives that are likely in some of your restaurant favourites. Salt certainly brings out the flavour in a meal, but in excess may also bring out undesirable health problems. Many restaurants offer low-sodium dishes. Asking for sauces and dressings on the side can help you to manage your salt, as well as calorie, intake.

When you begin a new weight loss program and you are challenged with making healthy foods choices, it doesn’t mean that you have to become a hermit. Restaurants can also provide healthy food if you follow the guidelines for eating smart when you do go out.

Eating out doesn’t mean pigging out. It’s not your last meal so take it easy! After all, tomorrow is another day. There’s sometimes a temptation to clean your plate to get your money’s worth. Eat slowly and enjoy your meal and the company you’re in. What you don’t finish you can take home. Ask questions: How is the food prepared? Don’t ever assume that a food isn’t fried unless it’s clearly stated on the menu. Are the cuts of meat lean? If you eat red meat, stick with lean cuts like loin, round, flank, shoulder, leg and extra lean ground beef. What kinds of sauces come with your meal? Avoid hollandaise, butter, cheese, and cream sauces smothering your meat instead, ask for it on the side and use it sparingly.

Scan the menu for lower fat food options. Many restaurants now offer an entire section for the menu that highlights special dietary needs, like low fat or gluten-free options. If the restaurant doesn’t offer this feature to specifically to indicate foods that are smart options, look for items like shrimp/seafood cocktails, tossed salads with light vinaigrette, broth and vegetable based soups, turkey, roast beef, and grilled chicken sandwiches.

Other healthy options for dining out include:

Plain hamburgers, turkey burgers, and veggie burgers

Broiled, blackened, or grilled fish, chicken or lean meats

Plain hamburgers, turkey burgers, and veggie burgers

Grilled chicken salad

Grilled vegetables over rice

Chicken kabobs over rice

Baked potatoes (with Dijon mustard, ketchup. marinara, salsa, or small amounts of butter)

Pasta with tomato-based sauce

Steamed or lightly saut

It may be wise to view ‘Eating Out’ as a convenience. You pay for convenience – not to have to shop for food materials, cook, and clean up.  However when it comes to eating a balanced diet restaurants aren’t going to do the work for you. You need to decide on the menu yourself!

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