If you are trying to maintain your diet, but still want to meet up with your friends for lunch, go out to eat with your family when they’re in town, or celebrate a special occasion without blowing it, you absolutely can.
Just because you’re on a diet doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy dining out the same as the next person. In fact, being able to go out to eat is an important part of maintaining your diet and it’s actually something that you should do.
After all, cutting something out usually leads to wanting it even more and in addition, the more you do something, the more you grow accustomed to it.
How to eat healthy when dining out
Once you get used to ordering healthier options, in no time, you’ll be doing it without a second thought. To help you out here are some ways to ensure you’re eating healthy when dining out.
#1- Ask For It How You Want It
This is no time to be shy; ask for your order the way you want it. If you would like your fish grilled instead of fried, ask for it that way. If your order comes with fries, ask if you can substitute a veggie or a small salad. Don’t be afraid to speak up; it’s your health, and generally, restaurants are happy to oblige.
#2- Ask For Extra Vegetables
Even if you have to pay extra, getting and eating extra vegetables will help you to get full faster. If you’re having stir fry, most places will be delighted to cut back on meat and add more veggies; meat cost more. In fact, restaurants rarely have a problem with giving you extra vegetables, so just ask.
#3- Don’t Trust the Menu
Always ask to be sure about how a particular item is prepared. Just because the menu says it’s grilled isn’t a guarantee that it is.
The restaurant may have changed how they prepare an item and just haven’t gotten around to changing the menu yet. There are also typos in menus sometimes, so it’s better to ask just to be sure.
#4- Order Low Fat, Light Entrees
Most restaurants have a ‘’light side” which offers foods that are low in fat, generally lower in calories, and are healthier versions of other plates.
Some places even offer Weight Watchers and other diet club entrees, so be sure to look. In addition, some restaurants allow half-portions of menu items for those who are dieting.
#5- Eat Only Half
If you do order something that’s not the healthiest meal, ask to box half your meal prior to being served. This way, the temptation to eat it all will be lessened and you can enjoy your meal knowing you’re still within your dieting parameters.
#6- Always Eat Salad First
A salad is made up of lots of low-calorie food items are that are healthy as well. Eating a salad before your entree will allow you to eat less of what is most likely more fatty foods.
Salads contain a lot of fiber and water, two things that help you feel fuller faster. This leads to taking in fewer calories than if you didn’t have a salad at all.
SALAD TIP: This is one you probably haven’t heard and it’s a great one. Instead of pouring your dressing all over your salad, simply dip your fork in the dressing first, then spear a bite of salad. You’ll get plenty of the dressing taste without all of the calories!