Don’t Skip Date Night: How to Eat Healthy When Dining Out

Oct 16 • 2014
Don’t Skip Date Night: How to Eat Healthy When Dining Out

Eating at home makes choosing healthy options much easier, but everyone likes to go out to eat once in a while. Just because you want to make the best choices when eating doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a date night at your favorite restaurant or family dinner at that local spot down the street. Armed with the information you need to make the right choice sets you up for success and an enjoyable night on the town.

Prepare ahead of time.
Most restaurants these days have their menu and nutrition facts online. Choose a few options you would be interested in ordering and compare them with the nutrition sheet to see what you’re up against. Consider calories, fat, carbohydrates, and sodium. You can also determine what adjustments you can make to the meal. If it comes with a side of French fries, plan to swap them for one of the vegetable options instead.

Make your own portions.
When the meal is delivered to your table, ask for a box right away. Many meals served at popular restaurants come with much larger portions than necessary. By boxing up half of the meal right away, it keeps you from picking at the food on your plate just because it is sitting there. Out of sight, out of mind.

Drink plenty of water.
Instead of opting for soda, sweet tea, or an alcoholic beverage, go with water. Not only is it free, but drinking water throughout your meal makes you feel full faster. It also makes you slow down the speed with which you’re eating so you enjoy the food more and spend more time digesting, letting your body know that you’re getting full.

Don’t assume a salad is best.
Going right for the salad options on the menu might seem like the healthiest choice, but it is important to read between the lines when looking at the description. If the salad is topped only with raw vegetables, it is likely a healthy choice. Once you start adding fried meats, cheese, croutons, and a creamy dressing, the calories and fat can hit the same rate as the large entrees. Make your salad choices carefully and ask for dressing on the side.

What tricks do you use to keep restaurant dinners healthy? Share them in the comments below.

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