You really never know how a meal is prepared when you’re eating out, and even the healthiest seeming salad can be packed with fattening cheeses, heavy oils, and excessive amounts of sodium. Instead of boycotting restaurants, use these smart tips for eating healthy while eating out.
- Know the lingo. When navigating the menu, recognize that words like “crispy,” “au gratin,” “creamed,” or “battered” are just as bad as “deep-fried.” Instead, look for dishes that are “grilled,” “poached,” or “roasted.”
- Choose restaurants with healthy or light menus. If you want to make navigating the menu even easier, research which restaurant chains offer separate menus of healthier dishes.
- Avoid appetizers. Instead of ordering extra food before your meal even arrives, eat your healthy entree and then reevaluate to see if you’re still hungry.
- Ask for sauces on the side. If you order a salad with dressing or a sandwich with a creamy sauce, ask for it on the side and only use as much as you need.
- Ask for a to-go box with your order. If your biggest challenge is overindulging, there’s no shame in packaging a portion of your meal up before you begin eating. This will ensure that you don’t go overboard.
- Don’t skip dessert. No, you don’t have to pass on dessert; just opt for healthier treats like fresh fruit, sherbet, or flourless cakes.