Dining out: Eating Out on a Diet: A Guide to Finding Healthy Options at Restaurants
Eating out on a diet can be a challenge, especially if you’re trying to maintain a healthy and balanced eating pattern. However, with a bit of preparation and knowledge, it is possible to find delicious and nutritious meals at restaurants that will help you stay on track with your goals. In this guide, we will discuss some tips and strategies for finding healthy options when dining out, as well as some examples of healthy dishes that you can look for at different types of restaurants.
One of the best ways to make sure you find healthy options when dining out is to plan ahead. Before you head to the restaurant, take a few minutes to research the menu online, or look up reviews of the restaurant. Many restaurants now have their menus available online, which makes it easy to see what options are available and make a decision before you even step foot in the door. By doing this, you can have a clear plan for what you’re going to order, rather than being caught off guard by an unhealthy menu and giving in to temptation.
Look for specific keywords
Many restaurants now list nutritional information or healthy options on their menus. Look out for key words such as grilled, baked, steamed, poached, or seared. These options are generally considered healthier than fried or sautéed dishes. Vegetable-based dishes can also be a good option, as long as they’re not swimming in heavy sauces or oils.
Ask your server
When ordering, don’t be afraid to ask your server for advice or recommendations. Explain you are trying to make healthy choices, they may know of options not listed on menu and may be able to tell you how a dish is prepared and if any substitutions can be made. They can also recommend which dishes are most popular, which can be a good indicator of taste.
Even if you order a healthy dish, it can still be high in calories if the portion size is too large. If possible, try to share a dish with a friend or ask your server to bring you a half portion. If that’s not an option, take the rest of your meal to go, so you’re not tempted to eat more than you should.
Types of cuisine:
Italian cuisine can be heavy on pasta, cheese and oil, but it is also possible to find healthier options. Look for dishes made with lean proteins such as chicken or fish, and avoid cream-based sauces. Instead, look for dishes with marinara or tomato-based sauces, which are generally lower in calories. Also, you can ask for whole wheat pasta option.
Asian cuisine can be a great option for healthy eating. Many Asian dishes are made with a lot of vegetables, lean protein, and flavorful herbs and spices, which can help you feel satisfied without consuming too many calories. Some options to look for include sushi, sashimi, steamed dumplings, or stir-fries made with plenty of vegetables and a small amount of oil.
Like Italian cuisine, Mexican food can be heavy on cheese and sour cream, but it is still possible to find healthy options. Look for dishes made with lean proteins such as chicken, fish or shrimp, and try to avoid dishes that are deep-fried or smothered in cheese. Instead, look for dishes that are grilled or sautéed, such as fajitas or fish tacos. Also, you can ask for corn tortilla instead of flour tortilla.
Eating out on a diet doesn’t mean you have to give up on taste and variety. By planning ahead, looking for specific keywords, asking your server, and controlling portion sizes, you can find delicious and nutritious meals at restaurants that will help you stay on track with your goals. In addition, being mindful of the type of cuisine can also help you make better choices. It’s important to remember that healthy eating is all about balance and moderation, not about restriction or cutting out entire food groups. So, enjoy your meal and don’t be afraid to indulge a little bit every now and then.
Another tip to keep in mind is that many restaurants now offer healthier options such as salads, soups and grilled items, it is good to check the menu before you go, also if you can, go for places that you know they have a healthy section in their menu, like Mediterranean, vegetarian or health-conscious restaurants.
Lastly, don’t forget to hydrate. It’s easy to forget to drink enough water when eating out, especially when ordering a drink, but it’s important to stay hydrated to help you feel full and satisfied. So, be sure to order a glass of water with your meal and sip on it throughout the meal to help you stay hydrated and maintain a healthy balance.
In summary, Eating out on a diet doesn’t have to be a difficult task, with a bit of preparation, knowledge, and a balanced mindset, you can make healthy choices while still enjoying the experience of dining out. Remember to plan ahead, look for specific keywords, ask your server for advice, pay attention to portion sizes, choose the right cuisine and stay hydrated to make the most of your dining experience.