Going out to eat is inevitable, and usually a treat because you don’t have to do the cooking! There are some challenges that we commonly face when going out to eat while still trying to choose healthy food options. Below are a few ways to combat the urge to choose unhealthy options when you are out to eat.
- Skip the soda. This is the first trigger that will set you off your path of trying to eat clean. The average soda has 37.6 grams of sugar, which is equivalent to 9.5 teaspoons!
- Choose water with lemon as your drink of choice. You can’t go wrong with water itself! To add a little more flavor, ask for a lemon slice! Lemon is known for boosting the immune system, helps to digest food quicker, and reduces inflammation.
- Steer clear of the high fat and sodium filled food items. This includes the large two pound burger that has every topping on it, and the super-sized portion of fries. The foods that contain high fat and sodium will be easy to pick out on the menu. If you read it and assume it’s unhealthy, use that as a sign and don’t order it!
- Look for the colorful dishes. A colorful plate usually puts you on the track to choosing something that is healthy. These plates include a variety of vegetables, possibly fruit, and a protein such as chicken, salmon, or tilapia.
- Watch for portion control. A study published in May within the Public Health Nutrition Journal found that 96 percent of main dishes sold at restaurants in the U.S. are found to be above the normal portion size of 600 calories or below. This means that practically every entree you receive has over-sized portions. This issue can be resolved very easily, just split your meal in half and box one half when you get your meal. This leaves you with the benefit of having the other half for a meal the next day!
- Ask your waiter/waitress. Do not hesitate to ask your server about their low calorie items or lighter fare menu. They should know the menu better than you, and be able to give you some insight on healthy options.