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Tips for Eating Healthy When Dining Out

Eating out is a great way to relax and socialize with family or friends. Although eating out can be enjoyable, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy eating plan while eating out.

Here are some tips that I use to stay on track when eating out.

Plan ahead. If I know I will be eating out on Saturday, I eat well during the week in order to have a little wiggle room in my diet for the weekend.

  • When possible, I look at the menu online and narrow down my choices before heading to the restaurant. Chain restaurants often have nutrition facts available on their website. It can be shocking to see how many calories are in restaurant food.

  • Eating a small snack beforehand can help with overeating at the restaurant.

  • Avoid foods that are smothered, fried, dipped, crispy, pan-fried, scalloped, breaded or served in cream or Alfredo.

  • Look for foods that are grilled, steamed, baked, roasted, braised, broiled, or seared.

  • Choose simple foods like a protein and side of vegetables without sauce. Dishes with several ingredients are often high in calories.

  • Order only the amount you can comfortably eat and not be stuffed. Split a meal or box up half to take home. Ordering an appetizer as an entrée is another great option.

  • Order spreads and dressings on the side. When eating a salad, dip fork in dressing before each bite instead of pouring dressing on salad.

  • When drinking alcohol, choose a dry red or white wine, light beer, or pure alcohol instead of sweet wines or cocktails.

  • If you want to splurge a bit, choose one treat item like alcohol, bread, or dessert.

  • Whether you decide to completely indulge or maintain healthy eating, the key is to decide beforehand, then stick to your plan.

Eating out is one of life’s greatest pleasures and should be enjoyed completely guilt-free.

Joy Hardin

Storm Fitness Personal Trainer and Health Coach


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