If you’re focusing on improving your health by eating healthy, it doesn’t mean you have to give up restaurants or carry out. It does mean you have to take a few extra steps to ensure the food you eat fits the healthy category. One of the first steps is choosing the restaurant. Most places offer online menus. You can identify the best choices before you go and avoid any problems. Some online apps provide suggestions for restaurants with healthier menus. Other restaurants have heart-healthy or low-calorie options marked.
Drink plenty of water before you eat.
You have to ask for water before meals in some restaurants. Make sure you have a glass or two before your meal. Drinking water not only is healthy and hydrates you, but it also helps fill you so you won’t be ravenous and order everything on the menu. Skip the bread and chips before a meal. Start your meal with a large salad with oil and vinegar dressing instead of creamy options. Always ask for dressing on the side and use a minimal amount. If you order soup before a meal, get broth-based soup, not creamy soup. You can even order soup and salad as your main meal.
Ask your server about portion size.
Most servers are glad to tell you if the serving size is big enough for two meals or barely enough for one. If the servings are large, consider having an appetizer and side dishes instead of a full meal. Some more upscale restaurants will even cater to your desires. If they offer a shrimp cocktail with five large shrimps, but you want a warm main dish, ask if they’ll grill the shrimp for you. If nothing on the appetizer menu suits your interest, but the main dishes are too much, share your meal or ask for a carryout box and immediately divide your meal in half.
Understand all the terms.
If you see the word cured in the description of a meal, know it’s probably higher in sodium or nitrates. A flaky crust means they probably used a lot of butter. Crispy usually means breaded and fried, while crisp often describes raw vegetables. Gratin or au gratin means the food has a creamy sauce. Confit is a negative term of you’re eating healthy, while grilled, broiled, or baked are ones.
- Look for fish on the menu that’s not fried, in a creamy sauce, or sautéed. Skinless chicken breasts are also good options for a main dish.
- Don’t sit near the kitchen. The further from the kitchen you sit, the less prone you’ll be to order something less healthy that looks and smells delicious.
- Stick with water, coffee, or tea, and skip the sweeteners. Avoid having an alcoholic drink before dinner. Studies show having an alcoholic drink can increase appetite and cause weight gain in other ways.
- See if you can substitute side dishes. If your meal comes with a vegetable and a side of mashed or fried potatoes, see if you can switch the potatoes for another serving of vegetables instead of the potatoes.
For more information, contact us today at Get RIPPED! by Jari Love