There are going to be times when you need to eat out with your family, but that doesn’t mean you have to choose fried chicken or fattening cheeseburgers. Here are some tips to eat out the right way. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated when you are away from home.
I don’t always make the best food choices when I go out to eat. And my waistband is starting to show that. I tend to look at eating out as a treat and I tend to get things I don’t normally eat. It’s great if it’s a special occasion, but it shouldn’t be the norm when you eat out.
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Tip #1 Know What To Order Before You Go Out To Eat
To start with, try to find out what the restaurant has before you even go. Especially if you have picky eaters, you can avoid the “I don’t like any of this whine”. This can help you decide what restaurants are best, based on your dietary needs. You might want to ease up on cooking for a night, but that doesn’t mean your family has to eat unhealthy food. It is a great way to teach kids about eating healthy.
Even though my kids are older, some of that hasn’t changed. It is actually harder to go out to eat as a family because each of our sons have their own distinctive likes and dislikes. It can be frustrating sometimes.
In this case, I try looking up local fast food or sit-down restaurants online and take a look at their menu. Most restaurants will list all of their menu items, the basic ingredients, and often times the nutritional facts as well. Many restaurants also have some type of light fit menu, which is definitely something to look for. And this is one way you can eat out the right way.
One other bit of advice is to find restaurants that serve “lighter portions”. You can often eat healthier just by watching how much you eat. A smaller portion will usually contain less calories, which in turn helps with weight gain, which can cause bigger problems later.
Tip #2 Eat Out The Right Way By Sticking To Grilled Chicken & Veggies
This piece of advice is a bit easier for me. In fact, I need to do this more at home, too!
When you are looking at a restaurant menu and having a hard time choosing a healthy meal option, going with grilled chicken and veggies is usually a safe bet. Make sure the chicken is grilled and not breaded and fried. This even goes for fast food restaurants, as many chicken sandwiches offer the option between breaded or grilled. With a sandwich, have just the grilled chicken with veggies, leaving off all condiments and cheese(not an easy thing to do, but it really does make a difference).
In a restaurant, you can usually get your chicken with a salad or side of veggies. Depending on your dietary needs, you might be able to have rice or a roll with butter, though that depends if you are on a low-carb diet or not. I was never a huge “side of veggies” gal until some of the restaurants started offering them as an option. Again, this simple change in habits is helping our family to eat out the right way.
Tip #3 Order Your Meal A La Carte When You Want To Eat Out The Right Way
Another easy option to eat out the right way is by not necessarily going with the meal options available. Instead, order each item for your meal a la carte, where you basically build the meals yourself. This lets you have full control over what you are eating so you’re not stuck wasting money (money that can be used elsewhere) since you can’t eat some of the food items that come with your meal.
For example, you can ask for salmon, a side of steamed vegetables, and a cup of wild rice, since this meal doesn’t exist on the menu. Seafood has become one of my favorite things to eat with a small amount of wild rice and a large portion of steamed veggies. A small dash of pepper and a sprinkle of lite parmesan makes it the perfect meal.
Tip #4 Know How Food Is Prepared When You Are Out To Eat
Don’t be afraid to ask the waiter or waitress how the food is prepared. Sometimes, the way the food items are worded in the menu don’t always describe the ingredients used to make them. You should know what oils, sauces, cheese, and other ingredients are used for certain food items so you can best determine what the healthiest choice would be.
Why you may be shy to ask to have your meal prepared in a different way, most restaurants are really accommodating to making these changes. If they are not, simply refrain for eating there again. Their food may be delicious, but if it is going to do more harm than good, it’s not worth it.
So there are some simple tips to eat out the right way. We all love those nights off from cooking, and by doing a little bit of planning the right way, you can still ensure you are eating a healthy balance of foods.
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