You want to support local businesses or maybe you just want a night off from cooking. There’s nothing wrong with dining out! You can still eat well! Check out some tips for eating right while dining out!
Don’t skip your snack before dinner! This one is really important! Many people want to “save” calories for dinner, but you’ll end up being more hungry than normal and want to eat more! Have a high protein snack an hour or two before your meal and you won’t over eat!
Look up the nutrition facts on the menu! Many restaurants now have nutrition facts listed on their menu and if they don’t you can always make an educated guess by searching the ingredients online. Plan ahead and decide what will best fit your meal plan! Then when you order you know exactly what you can have without feeling overwhelmed!
The menu does not decide what you eat! I think we often forget this. We tend to think that we have to eat everything on the plate, however, leftovers are a great thing to have! You don’t need to finish your meal if you’re not hungry. Also, if it comes with a side that doesn’t fit your meal plan- you can ask for a substitute or don’t eat it! For example, if your burger comes with fries but you’re trying to cut calories- ask for a vegetable as a side instead, or give the fries to your kids/ friend! Over ordering wastes so much money and food- only order what you can eat!!
Avoid high calorie appetizers. On a normal day do you have an appetizer? Probably not! We have come accustomed to always ordering an appetizer, salad, meal and sometimes dessert when we dine out! You can enjoy your salad while every one has the appetizer. Save your appetite for your meal which is probably much more nutritious anyway! Appetizers tend to be fried or full of fat and sodium. And you will still be full without it!
Pick a high protein meal. Protein helps to keep you full. Make sure your meal consists of something high in protein like meat, fish, eggs, edamame, tofu etc.
Avoid fried food.
Ask for alterations. You are craving shrimp but it is listed as fried. Ask if they can grill it instead! Most restaurants can make accommodations. It never hurts to ask!
Always have a back up plan. Sometimes restaurants run out of ingredients or maybe your original plan can’t be accommodated for. If you have a second healthy option then you won’t have to worry if your first doesn’t work out!
Portion matters. Remember most restaurants give extremely large portions of high calorie foods. If you really want to treat yourself and get something that isn’t one of the healthiest options, eat less. Ask for a container right away and put half of your meal in it and put it to the side so you’re not tempted to eat it!
Limit your alcohol intake! There will be another article about calories in alcohol, but for now know that it is not zero calories and it does slow down your bodies ability to turn food into energy. Avoid margaritas and frozen drinks and try to limit how much you drink! It will also save money on your bill!
Local Restaurants and Healthy Options
Cobb Blue Salad: This salad is extremely filling! It comes in a huge portion! Ask for the dressing on the side so you can keep the extra calories to a minimum.
Rellenos: (brunch only) This is a great high protein option! Scrambled eggs with some veggies but not your typical egg dish!
K-Pop or Chifa Tacos: These are made out of cauliflower (k-Pop) or mushroom (chifa) so they are a great low-calorie option! We highly recommend k-pop… you won’t be disappointed!