6 Essential Tips for Healthier Choices When Eating Out
Eating out can be an avenue to relax with friends and family. Even though the cuisines on the menu of restaurants and fast foods can be delicious and plentiful, studies have shown they are far less healthy than the food you eat at home. Now, a visit to the restaurant should be something to enjoy, and a moment to unwind, but going out to eat, then it’s better to be smart about your choices. Here are some tips to help you eat healthy whenever you decide to eat out.
Take note of menu descriptions
Diners can steer clear of unhealthy foods on the menu by reading between the lines when going through menu descriptions. Take note of descriptions such as sauced, crisp, creamy, buttery scalloped and so on. These words and others like it usually describe foods with a high saturated and sometimes trans-fat content. When you see words like Parmesan, au lait, or breaded, you just might be ordering a meal packed with hidden fats which are not good for your body.
Request more of healthy foods
When you want to order from the menu, ask for more vegetables and whole grains to be served with the meal. Most times, the amounts of vegetables served with meals are small compared to what we need to stay healthy. You can substitute some fries with a side salad. Ask for fruits, low-fat dairy, whole grains and freshly made salad with your meal. Do this, and you will get a more balanced and healthier meal at the restaurant. What more, you get extra for the same price.
Be Assertive about your food
When eating out, most diners usually go with what’s on the menu, even though they might have misgivings about the food. For instance, you want to order chicken, but what they have on the menu is fried chicken. You can ask to be served grilled chicken instead, and the restaurant will most of the time agree to do it your way. Restaurants are in the business of satisfying their clients.
We are usually tempted to eat more because of the large portions served by restaurants. An easy way to slow down your appetite is to drink water throughout your meal. Doing this will send “full” signals to your brain, making you eat less, thereby preventing that extra weight you hate so much.
Order before everyone else
When eating out with a group of people, it’s always wise to order first. Studies have shown that we subconsciously follow the crowd when making decisions. When somebody in your group orders a large dish, the chances are that you will be tempted to do the same. Cancel this tendency by ordering a small sized meal so others can follow your example.
Eat less at buffets – my weakness (you want to get your money’s worth right?)
When given an unlimited choice, we tend to abuse it. In case you find yourself in a buffet type gathering, make a conscious effort to eat less. You can use a small plate to serve your food. Also, you can fill your plate with more vegetables, so you have less space for other types of food.
So, there you have it – essential tips for healthier choices when eating out.