We all know that dining out isn’t the healthiest option, whether it’s at a sit down restaurant or fast food restaurant it often results in consuming many more calories than eating a meal at home. But, sometimes we can’t avoid eating out. Whether it’s time not allowing for a meal at home or we are dining out to visit with friends we don’t have to leave our healthy eating habits at the door! Below are 5 tips to eat healthier while dining out.
1. Large restaurants are required to provide nutritional information on their food products. Use these to your benefit, compare menu items you are considering and choose the option that is lower in calories, fat, and sodium.
2. Incorporate a fruit or vegetable as a main or side dish. Just swapping out a side salad or fruit for French fries will save you nearly 300 calories! Be sure to ask for the salad dressing on the side so you can control the dressing portion size.
3. Ask for small portions or put half of your meal in a to-go container right away to save for later. Most restaurant or fast food meals provide 700-1000 calories, by cutting the meal in half and saving it for later you save nearly 500 calories!
4. Drink water instead of soda to save on extra calories. You could save nearly 300 calories with this simple swap! If you don’t like plain water, try adding a lemon slice for flavor.
5. Take your time. Whether you are hitting up fast food because you are in a hurry or at a restaurant with friends, try to take time and enjoy your meal. It takes 20 minutes for your brain to recognize that you are full, so try to take the full 20 minutes to eat your meal. People who take longer to eat tend to eat less while still remaining satisfied.