Balancing your social life with a healthy diet can be challenging. There are lots of restaurants without good healthy options and/or that provide oversized portions packed with enough calories to feed you for two days. However, with a little planning, you can find a restaurant with many high quality options from which to choose. Here are eight tips you can use to get the healthiest meal possible on your next dining experience:
1. Find A Healthy Restaurant Online: Almost every restaurant posts their menu online—some even post the calorie and macronutrient content of the meals they serve. Find a restaurant that offers healthy options that will work with your nutrition plan.
2. Start With Salad: Starting with a salad will fill you up without weighing you down. When choosing a salad, stick to the garden variety. Skip the added nuts, cheese, crispy noodles or other added topping to save on calories. Ask for dressing on the side and opt for “light” dressings or olive oil and vinegar!
3. Skip The Added Fat: You might not realize that there could be added fat hiding on your veggies or your steak. Some restaurants add oil to cook the veggies and brush butter on their meats. To avoid these extra calories, ask for steamed veggies and no added butter/oil to your meat.
4. Opt For Clean Protein: Although the fried, battered or breaded meat options will be tempting, pass on these and go straight for the grilled, baked, broiled or roasted options. Skinless, boneless grilled chicken breast, grilled red meat or broiled fish are my usual choices.
5. Buffets Are Off-Limits: This really is a no-brainer, as it is so easy to overeat at these types of restaurants.
6. Modify The Menu: Most restaurants will accomodate your dietary needs, especially if the request is not too outlandish. So go ahead and request your food the way you want it.
7. Go With An App: Appetizers are smaller portions making them very diet-friendly. Some great appetizer options are salads, vegetable-based soups, tuna tataki or grilled meat skewers. If those don’t satisfy you, ask for a few sides like a baked potato or steamed veggies.
8. Take It With You: If the portions you are served are too large, ask the server to wrap up half of your food as soon as it is served to avoid overeating.