Top 10 Tips for Eating Out
Staying committed to healthy eating in 2012 doesn’t mean squashing dining out. With a few smart tricks under your belt, you can still savor meals at your favorite restaurants. Keep in mind that most places are glad to accommodate special requests.
1) Portion control is huge. “The sheer amount of food most restaurants serve is way beyond the recommended amount,” noted Cindy Linse, nutritionist at Grand View. “As soon as your food is served, ask for a takeout box, package half your meal, and set it aside.” Or, consider ordering a healthy appetizer as a main course.
2) Go baked, broiled, roasted, or grilled. Any preparation other than fried is your best choice.
3) Ask what kind of oil the cooks use and request your meal to be prepared with vegetable or olive oil rather than lard.
4) Move the salt shaker to another table. Restaurants serve food with already enough salt. Season with garlic powder or dried oregano instead.
5) Deny the bread basket. Ask your server to substitute raw veggies and dip, sliced tomatoes, or something similar. “If you’re about to consume an entire meal, don’t fill up on bread, which adds to calorie consumption,” warned Linse.
6) Ask for an additional serving of vegetables or fruit in place of potatoes. “Unless you plan to eat just a half-cup portion of a white or sweet potato with no fatty or sugary toppings, opt for two non-starchy vegetables or fruit,” noted Linse.
7) Request dressings, gravies and other sauces on the side. You’ll use far less than if you drench your food in them since they’re typically loaded with fat. “If you cannot select a low-fat dressing, ask for lemon juice and vinegar or balsamic vinegar,” suggested Linse.
8) Drink water with a slice of lemon rather than sugary sodas and juices. For adults, red wine in moderation has shown to be good for cardiovascular health.
9) Eat slowly and enjoy the flavor, texture, aroma, and ambience.
10) Yes, you can have dessert! Ask for sliced in-season fruit even if it’s not on the menu. Order it with a dollop yogurt if available.
To help you stay in shape and maintain a healthy weight, Grand View offers individual nutrition counseling and other related programs.