7 Ways to Eat Healthier When Dining Out

May 16, 2016 by Sarah (Day Styles)

It’s no secret that cooking your food at home has enormous benefits! You not only know exactly what you’re putting in your food, but you know how much to eat, and you save money. Of course, we’re always going to eat out, whether it’s because you didn’t have time to do groceries, or your friends are going out for dinner. Eating out can be fun, but it can also be difficult to eat healthy. Here are seven great tips that will help you stay healthy and still enjoy your night out!

Help Choose the Restaurant

When you’re going out with a group of friends, try and influence the group to pick a healthier restaurant! Offer up some different options and food choices. You can even search different restaurant apps and filter by healthy choices, using the filter to provide a list of recommendations for the rest of the group. That way, no matter what option they choose you know that there are some healthy options available for you!

Decide Ahead of Time

Once you know what restaurant to go to, review the menu ahead of time and discover what you’d like to eat that fits into your healthy lifestyle. You can figure out which options look the healthiest and decide if there are any alterations you need to ask about before ordering. When you’ve decided ahead of time, it makes it easier to resist the unhealthy food that might tempt you in the restaurant!

Ask About Specials

Even if you plan ahead and scout the menu in advanced, there’s bound to be times when you have an impromptu lunch or dinner with friends or a date with a partner where you don’t know the exact destination. Ask your waiter about the specials of the day. Often, the specials are made with seasonal and fresh ingredients and tend to be a bit healthier than items you’d see on the menu.

Don’t Limit Yourself

Salads are always a healthy way to go but don’t limit yourself to thinking that’s your only choice. Try asking your server about different substitutions! Pick an entrée that has some lean protein, like chicken or turkey, and ask if you can swap potatoes or fries for salad or extra vegetables. Furthermore, you could even order a burger with no bun or see if they can put some iceberg lettuce on the burger to replace the bun. There are a lot of different options, and people are usually willing to accommodate if you ask nicely!

Avoid Dairy And Gluten

For a lot of people, dairy and gluten (or one of the two) can contribute to irritation and inflammation in your body, leading to that post-meal bloat that I’m sure we’ve all experienced at some point in our lives. No one enjoys feeling bloated after a meal, so while you’re asking your waiter questions, ask about any dairy and gluten free options that might be available.

Avoid Certain Ingredients

When scouting the menu, be aware of items that are fried, deep fried, or heavily salted. This usually means that it has MSG in the food, which is something that we all need to avoid! Also, if you’re avoiding dairy, be cautious of cream and other dairy products in soups and salad dressings. Just ask for dairy-free options or dressing on the side.

Don’t Drink Your Calories

Avoid sugary drinks and cocktails when you’re out with your friends, and stick to water or herbal tea. If you want an alcoholic beverage, opt for something lighter like a vodka soda, a light beer, or red wine. There are so many calories in beverages that we don’t think about, and it’s really easy to drink half of your daily caloric intake in just one sitting, depending on the drink you choose – so it’s always best to go with water!

Your body will appreciate your efforts to find healthy options! Instead of bloated and sick, you’ll feel fresher and healthier after a lighter meal at a restaurant, and you can still enjoy time with your friends!

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