How to stay healthy while dining out. Control your portions.

How To Stay Healthy While Dining Out

December 19, 2012

When the weekend rolls around, chances are you may be eating at a restaurant at least once. If you’re dieting or trying to stay healthy, dining out may put your plan to a halt even when you’re exercising on cardio equipment like fitness treadmills and stationary bikes. However, there are several ways to go out to eat while maintaining your trim figure at the same time. Keep the following tips in mind when you are trying to stay healthy while dining out at restaurants.

Skip The Bread Basket

Some restaurants provide their guests with a basket of bread to snack on before their meal arrives. As tempting as this might be, it’s better to skip it. We all know how hard it is to only eat one slice when you have an entire basket in front of you. If you don’t think you have the willpower, don’t hesitate to ask your waiter to take the bread basket away. With the bread basket out of sight, you won’t be tempted to indulge.

Share A Meal

Share a meal to help stay healthy and cut on calories.

Most often, the portion sizes prepared by restaurant chefs are much more than you actually need. Even though you may be full, it’s easy to overeat when you have that much food in front of you. One simple way to cut calories would be to share a meal. If you’re opting to dine by yourself, Prevention magazine suggested asking your server to give you a half-portion instead.

Grab A To-Go Box

Another easy way to decrease your calorie count would be to ask for a to-go box when your meal arrives.

Restaurant portions have ballooned in recent years, and many of us don’t know when to stop eating,” Discovery Fit & Health explained.

By opting for a to-go box right away, you can put half of the dish in the doggie bag and save it for later, before you overindulge.

Opt For A Lighter Salad Dressing

Using a lighter salad dressing can help cut calories

Choosing a lighter dressing allows you to still have a flavorful salad, but without the heavy, mayonnaise-based topping that weighs down you and your meal. Dressings like Ranch and Thousand Island will pack more calories per bite than a vinaigrette.

If you can’t part with the creamy dressings, Prevention suggested asking for the dressing on the side. This way, the salad won’t be drenched and you can enjoy its flavor without the extra calories.

Substitute Your Side

If the meal you ordered comes with fries, ask your server for healthier alternatives like steamed vegetables or fresh fruit. These options will provide you with the energy your body needs without the saturated fat. Although turning away fries is not the easiest task, your body will thank you later and is one of many ways to stay healthy while dining out.