Top 10 Tips for Healthy Eating in Restaurants

Top 10 Tips for Healthy Eating in Restaurants
By Johnathan Zamora

There are plenty of easy ways to stay on track and still enjoy your dining experience.  It takes a little savvy, but the tips I’ve provided here will make it easier to eat out in restaurants and still be satisfied.  With today’s restaurants offering lighter options for health conscious diners it is easier than ever to make smart choices when it comes to your meal options.  Here are some tips that will help you navigate your way through a restaurant menu:

Top 10 Tips for Healthy Eating in Restaurants

  1. Skip the bread basket.  As tempting as it may be, bread is simply empty calories that can add up before your meal even reaches the table.  Throw in the dipping oil and the calories pile up fast.  Instead, request that your salads be brought to the table in place of the bread basket.
  2. Avoid soft drinks and instead order water or unsweetened tea.  The calories from these drinks can add up fast – also avoid alcohol, as it may cause you to overeat.  Try your best to drink one glass of water before the meal arrives – this practice will make you less likely to over indulge.
  3. Choose grilled, broiled, steamed, roasted, seared, baked, or poached items.  These menu items are typically much lower in fat calories and still burst with flavor.  Chicken, lean beef, fish and vegetarian dishes are all great choices.
  4. Order all vegetables steamed, instead of soaking in butter or oil.  If you’re carb-conscious, request that the rice, potatoes or pasta side dish be substituted with a double serving of vegetables.
  5. If the restaurant is known for its large portions, request a half portion of your meal.  Some restaurants will offer half portions at a fraction of the price, both saving you money and helping to keep your waist tight.
  6. Avoid items that are deep fried and breaded.  If you are not sure now a dish is prepared, ask your server who will be happy to find out for you.
  7. Request that all sauces, including salad dressings, be served on the side.  Instead of pouring the sauce over your food, dip your fork into the side dish of dressing and grab a forkful of salad, this way you still get the taste at only a fraction of the calories.
  8. Choose tomato sauces over cream based sauces.  You will avoid an extra dose of fat and instead add more body friendly nutrients to your meal.
  9. If pressed to order an appetizer, choose leaner options like shrimp cocktail or a vegetable broth based soup.  These options are perfect since they pack tons of flavor and can even provide you with an extra serving of vegetables.
  10. When choosing to eat dessert, it’s important to remember that a taste will go a long way.  Instead, choose to split a lighter dessert item with your friends – like angel food cake with berries and light whipped topping, instead of gorging on the whole thing yourself,

These are some of the many ways that you can eat out and still splurge.  The key is to utilize these strategies in order to make the most out of your dining experience and still eat well.

Johnathan Zamora
The Fit Chef

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One Response for Top 10 Tips for Healthy Eating in Restaurants

  1. Johnathan

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    October 17, 2011 12:57 pm

    Glad to help Mark! Thanks for the thumbs-up. Restaurants have come a long way since the old “burger and fries”, so look for places that offer a “healthy options” menu. Today, its almost a must to offer cleaner options for health minded people…don’t be afraid to ask that your meal be prepared to your liking. Good Luck!