Finding healthy options at restaurants is essential when you have made the choice to eat healthier. Restaurants can be an enjoyable outing or a necessity for time strapped individuals. Restaurants have become so essential to many people that eating out is one of the major ways Americans gain weight. Choosing healthy options is not as difficult as it may seem at first. Many establishments are now creating healthier options for those looking to eat healthier.
When deciding where to eat out, always start this process by asking yourself what you have a taste for. Eating should be an enjoyable activity. Work on combining what you like to eat with healthier options. Next, do your research. Most restaurants post their menus on their websites which makes this process easier. Check the website to get a feel for what type of food the restaurant serves. Choose a restaurant with many healthy choices that are low in calories and fat, and high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Some restaurants post the calorie information on their menus so look for these numbers. Make a note of which items have the amount of calories you are looking for.
Once you get to the restaurant, decide what you will order. It is easy to choose which entrees have less fat and calories by only looking at the menu, but having taken the time to check out the calorie information on their website makes ordering even easier. Typically, a cream based soup or pasta dish will have more fat and calories than a broth based soup or tomato based pasta dish. Choose meals that have a lot of vegetables either mixed in the main dish or on the side. When you get a salad to start, ask for the dressing on the side. Restaurants like to saturate their salads with fancy dressing and this can add up to a lot of extra calories. Asking for dressing on the side puts you in control.
Next, look out for portions. Restaurants usually give at least twice the recommended portion size stated on the Mypyramid plan. Some restaurants can even give three to four times the recommended amount of food. This adds up to three quarters to a full day’s calorie and fat intake in one meal. The best way to remedy this is to divide the meal in half and take home the other halve for dinner the next day. Or you can share your meal with another person. Dessert is probably the best part of going out. Sometimes skipping dessert is the best way to decrease calories and fat, especially if you dine out often. If there is a dessert item you really want to eat, ask for a half portion. Or you can only eat half of it and take the other half home to eat with your leftover meal.
National Restaurant Association, Want to watch calories when dining out? http://www.restaurant.org/dineout/nutrition.cfm, Accessed on June 23rd, 2009