Top 10 Ways to Make Dining Out Healthier

We all go out to eat from time to time (or we will once our Coronavirus lockdown ends). I wanted to share some tips on how to make the trip to the restaurant more healthy to keep everyone on track. Add your own tips in the comments.

10. Check out the nutritional value information on the restaurant’s web site before going. Keep the page handy on your phone, just in case you have to make a last moment change if the restaurant has run out of something you planned to order.

9. Tell your waiter that you are trying to eat healthy and let them make suggestions of ways to alter dishes to reduce the calorie and fat count. Something simple your waiter does like putting the butter on the side instead of on the pancakes might be one example where getting your waiter involved might pay off.

8. Bring your own condiments. Things like mayo, salad dressing and tartar sauce can be fat free and low calorie, but not many restaurants will have the healthy versions, so discreetly bring your own in small plastic containers. I wrote about this here.

7. Have a snack, go ahead, ruin your dinner. It might make sense to give yourself a healthy snack 30 to 45 minutes before heading off to the restaurant. Maybe a piece of fruit or some fresh veggies will make sure that you don’t over order or over eat.

6. Ask for unhealthy things on the side, then don’t use all of them. Butter, dressings, and sauces are full of calories and fat. Why not ask for them on the side and then try to use them sparingly.

5. Pick a restaurant whose signature dish is something healthy. This one is simple, you are more likely to not ruin your diet at Boston Market vs. Long John Silver’s.

4. Ask for a togo container when your food is served, so you box up part of your meal right at the start and save it for the next day. This keeps you from eating everything that is put in front of you.

3. Avoid all you can eat offers. This one was a big one for me. My cheapness loved value. Don’t put yourself in a position like this.

2. Tell the people you are dining with about your weight loss goals (if they already don’t know), that way the group dynamic can hold you accountable. Peer pressure is a powerful thing. Let it work in your favor by letting everyone at the table know that you are on a mission.

1. Pass on appetizers and desserts. Appetizers are often fried and desserts are full of unneeded calories. If you must have something sweet, wait until you get home.

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