Dining Out and How to Make Good Choices

Dining Out and How to Make Good Choices

Dining Out and How to Make Good Choices

Dining Out and How to Make Good Choices

All of us, at some point or another, have found ourselves working hard to make good choices with what we eat, start meal prepping, add more fruits and vegetables to our plates all to be derailed by going out to eat. Maybe it’s for a work event, or dinner to catch up with a friend you haven’t seen in awhile, or perhaps you forgot your lunch at home. These examples, and more, can put us in difficult situations that make it hard to make good food choices. Fear not! Read below for 10 tips to help you stick to your goals and feel good about your choices.’

  1. Order water instead of soda. Because this will be the first order you make, make it a good one. Soda is filled with empty calories and after many refills will increase your calories faster than you may think. Also, remember to skip the diet sodas as well. You are better off choosing water for its many benefits like hydration and the way water aids in digestion.
  2. Order from the appetizer menu or kids menu to avoid large portion sizes. This may sound silly at first but often ordering from the appetizer menu can prevent you from choosing too many sides that may be tempting and ordering from the kids menu (if they allow you to) will decrease your portion sizes so you do not overeat.
  3. Share an entrée with a friend. If you are eating with a friend who has the same health goals as you, try sharing a plate with your friend. Restaurants will often go ahead and split the entree for you or bring out another plate so you can split it yourself. This will also prevent you from eating large portions of food and give you a good conversation with your friend about how much you both enjoyed your meal.
  4. Look or ask for your food to be grilled, baked, or steamed. Most restaurants today will give you different options of how to have your food cooked; however, if they do not have it listed, go ahead and ask your waiter for your chicken to be grilled instead of fried.
  5. Substitute French fries for fruits, veggies, or side salad. I know they are good but choosing vegetables or fruit will provide you with fiber to help keep you full, not spike your blood sugar, and make you feel good about the choice you made later on.
  6. Ask for salad dressing on the side. If you do opt for a side salad over the French fries, do not think this automatically makes it healthier. Remember to always ask for the dressing on the side! Restaurants will over pour on dressing resulting in more calories than you intended to eat. When you can pour the dressing on yourself, you are able to measure out a more precise amount that you would at home. Choose dressings like Italian and vinaigrettes over ranch and thousand islands.
  7. Avoid fried foods. Fried foods are cooked in high fat and unstable or unhealthy fats. Studies show that fried foods are also linked to diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Try to steer clear of all foods that are fried.
  8. Ask for a to go box before you start eating. When thinking about portion sizes, restaurants often serve portion sizes that are too large. If you find yourself in this situation ask for a to-go box before you take the first bite. Go ahead and box up half of your plate so that you can take it home as leftovers. This will help you from overeating from the very start and not make you feel deprived.
  9. Take your time while eating. Savor each bite of your food, put your fork down between bites, take a sip of water, talk to your friends during the meal. By doing these simple acts, you will realize that you get full a lot faster than if you were to dig in immediately. This will result in sticking to your recommended portion sizes and stop you from overeating.
  10. Be mindful of when you begin to get full so you can avoid overeating. Once you start to get full go ahead and stop eating. It’s ok if you are the first one finished with your food or the last one. However; just because you are not stuffed does not mean that you are not satisfied. Go ahead and ask your server to take your plate once you are finished to prevent yourself from continuing to pick at your food if you are already full.