Before we get into eating healthy at restaurants, you should know: These are the exact tips I have used to lose weight and keep it off. Oh, how much weight did I lose? Find out here or give this a skim.
1. Check the menu before you go
Eating healthy at restaurants doesn’t have to be difficult!
I know I’ve been guilty of not checking a menu before I go and then I get overwhelmed and end up choosing something that is loaded with calories.
Usually, I try to stick to restaurants with menus online so I can gauge what I’ll eat. Maybe I’ll narrow it down to 2 entrees, or I’ll make the choice before I get to the restaurant.
If I’m feeling really extra I’ll try to stick to a restaurant that has their calories online, too. They won’t be exact, but it’ll be a good estimate!
2. Drink water
Before I head out, I’ll try to make sure I drink a glass or two of water so I’m not fully starving when I get there. I also try to drink plenty of water while I’m there.
It’s hard for me since I’m not super thirsty all the time, but if I have a straw in my water I just try to sip on it as much as I can. Plus it helps you feel fuller when you start eating and part of eating healthy is staying hydrated so you don’t confuse thirst and hunger!
3. Opt for veggies or a salad (without the creamy dressing)
If you pick something and you get a choice of sides, try to pick steamed vegetables or a salad. The main point though is to also ask if the veggies have butter or oil, and if you get a salad please skip the ranch, Cesar, thousand island, and any creamy dressings!! Creamy dressing are super calorically dense, even some vinnagraites have more calories than you’d expect.
I usually opt for low-fat balsamic vinnagraites if they have it, or vinegar. I’m not a huge fan of olive oil and vinegar on salads, I feel like the taste and texture of olive oil don’t out-weigh the calories. Vinegar is calorie-free, while oil can have 120 calories per serving (2 tablespoons usually)! I’d rather save the calories.
Also, ask for dressing on the side. This might seem silly, but 2 tablespoons might be 100 calories of a dressing, but do you think you actually get 2 tablespoons or more? Hint: you probably get more.
Eating healthy at restaurants might seem like your annoying the shit out of your waiter, but just be polite – chances are they don’t even care. It’s not a big deal to put dressing on the side or cook something without butter or oil.
4. Ask for no oil/butter on your food
Don’t be afraid to ask a waiter if your food is made with butter or oil! I typically ask (when I don’t forget) and it’s never an issue if I ask for it to be made without any of that stuff.
Eating healthy at restaurants means asking the question so you can avoid unnecessary fat and calories being added to your food.
5. Stick to grilled, baked, or broiled food
This might seem strange or like complete common sense, but avoid anything that is fried, creamy, cheesy, breaded, loaded, or smothered.
Stick to grilled, broiled, and baked (just keep an eye on sauces, that’s where they’ll get you)! Usually even these things have butter or oil, but refer to tip 4.
6. Skip dessert (unless it’s fresh fruit with no sugar or syrup)
I indulge in dessert here and there, but usually you’re better off skipping it. Fresh fruit is delicious, as long as it doesn’t have sugar sprinkled on top or drizzled in syrup. No bueno.
Other than that, fruit is your best option. If you’re craving chocolate or caramel it’s cheaper and calorically better to just get a small bar and have a piece at home.
7. Don’t shove all the food down your throat
There is no need to shove all the food down your throat as fast as you can. That’s what will leave you feeling so full that you’re sick!
Try just eating the protein first or veggies, then whatever is left once you feel satisfied you can take home for tomorrow!
Another option you have is to split your food in half. You can ask for a box already and just put half of your food away for tomorrow. It’s definitely cost-effective and calorically beneficial. This is probably the best tip I ever heard because it saves you on calories and you get to enjoy your meal TWICE! What’s not to love?
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