Dining out can be exciting. You get to indulge in your favorite foods and hang out with your favorite people. But with all those extra calories one cheat meal can ruin your entire week worth of gym and clean eating effort. Here is how to make healthy choices when eating at a restaurant.
Making Healthy Choices At Restaurant
Split and Share
Splitting the bill and sharing the meal is a great way to cut down on calories while eating out since restaurants meal portions tend to be huge and pack crazy amounts of calories. You surely won’t stay hungry and even may have a dessert.
Pass on Bread (Go For Protein)
Passing on the bread basket you save yourself countless calories. Instead of simple carbs make sure your meal comes with complex carbs like fresh or grilled veggies of different colors and protein in meat or beans and other plants. And if you want to indulge, go for a cold potato salad or whole wheat pasta sans the sauce.
Maggiano’s Little Italy’s Chocolate Zuccotto Cake – 1,820 calories per piece, healthier swap – homemade brownie from mix
Take The Grill
Though it’s okay to enjoy some crispy fried chicken once in a while choosing something that was grilled, steamed, or sauteed instead might be a good idea if you tend to eat out often.
It’s better to skip dessert at the restaurant at least. Have a healthier alternative later at home instead of consuming extra 500-1,500 calories and endless amounts of sugar and sodium. If you must have a dessert opt for something yogurt-based like parfait or something fresh fruit-based. Ice cream or better yet sorbet on their own without additional toppings are best as low-calorie yummy desserts. All those restaurant cakes, pies, and even milkshakes can run you from 300 at best and up to 2010 calories.
Coldstone Creamery’s PB&C Shake – 2010 calories, healthier swap – Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups at 45 calories per piece
Read Dish Descriptions
Read description to know the method of cooking, ingredients, portion size, and calories per portion. Even a banana split can run you as much as 300 calories (mini Banana Split Blizzard), so be sure to check out if your healthy sounding dessert is really a calorie-loaded bomb.
Go for Water
Choosing a drink can be tempting but if you already chose a high calorie meal to indulge go for water or at least wine. You can always take the milkshake another day as a cheat treat or make one at home with far fewer calories than the restaurant/fast food version. It’s always a good idea to split your indulgences. Instead of consuming 3,000 calories in unhealthy meals in one day choose what’s going to be your cheat meal and keep everything else clean and on the healthy side.
Take a Walk
After having dinner or lunch out of home don’t go for the steering wheel. Take a walk instead. Park your car farther from the restaurant or simply go to the nearest park. Don’t let those extra calories just sit there.
Making small sacrifices as well as healthy swaps will allow you to enjoy eating at your favorite places.