Eating Right When You’re Eating Out

After working so hard to finally start eating healthy and getting back in shape, your friends invite you out for their weekly wings night. What do you do? Go out and probably indulge on high-fat, greasy foods with them, likely derailing your diet. Stay at home crunching on celery and miss out on the fun? If you’re smart about things, it doesn’t have to be either of these options. Follow the quick tips below when you go out for wings (or whatever) and enjoy yourself without hindering your progress!

Tips on Eating Out

  • When ordering dishes that have sauces, choose ones that are tomato-based instead of cream-based, as these typically contain less fat and calories.
  • Drink plenty of water before going out and during your meal. Drinking a lot of water – something you should be doing anyway – will help boost the feeling of satiety before you even open the menu.
  • Skip dessert! But if it’s not that easy or you feel you have to partake, choose a low-fat option like fresh fruit instead of those that are high in processed sugars and saturated fats. Better yet, split with a friend or eat half and save the rest for later in the week to satisfy your sweet tooth.
  • Sometimes appetizers are the best-tasting thing on the menu. Order one as a main, and if it’s not enough, add a side salad. You’ll cut the cost of your bill and your calorie count!
  • If you’re only done half of your plate but already feel full, just stop! Don’t over-indulge. Ask the waiter to doggy bag it, and have it for lunch the next day.
  • Use lighter toppings such as salsa or low-calorie dressings to add flavor with fewer calories.
  • Avoid all-you-can eat buffets. The temptation is typically too great. But if that’s where your group is heading and you have no choice, ask the waiter if you can order à la carte (off the menu). You’ll still enjoy the food, just one plate of it, not the multiple you’d likely devour from the buffet.
  • Ask the waiter if any not-so-healthy dishes you crave can be made vegetarian or altered to make it healthier. Most restaurants these days are more than happy to accommodate.
  • You pick the place. It doesn’t have to be wings, a buffet, or a burger joint every time. Show your family and friends that going out can be healthy and delicious. Start a new trend!

See, it doesn’t have to be that difficult! While going out for dinner, especially with those who indulge a bit too much, can be tough, sticking to the handy rules above (and probably some of your own) can make the experience tasty and diet-friendly. Enjoy!

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