10 Ways to Eat Out Without Pigging Out

by Nick Orlando

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be a major lifestyle change. These days, many restaurants are willing to cater to most dietary preferences, from low-fat to low-carb to gluten-free. You can have a nutritious meal anywhere if you know how to order. Follow these tips for a healthy and enjoyable night out.

1. If you’ll be going to a restaurant for dinner, try cutting back on your calories earlier in the day. A light lunch, such as grilled salmon with edamame, will allow for an evening splurge.

2. Most restaurant menus are available online. You can review the menu before you arrive so you can make a smart choice without being tempted.

3. Don’t indulge in a cocktail, appetizer, entrée and dessert in a single meal. Choose one or two splurges, like a cocktail and dessert, while keeping the rest of your order healthy.

4. Don’t fill up on bread while waiting for your appetizers and entrées. If you can’t limit yourself to one or two pieces, ask your server to remove it from the table.

5. Instead of splurging on a sugary drink, opt for sparkling water or unsweetened iced tea. For an alcoholic beverage, try a glass of wine, a light beer, or a simple martini.

6. Pay attention to how menu items are prepared. Avoid foods that are fried or breaded. Instead, choose something that is steamed, grilled, baked, or poached. Stay away from creamy and cheesy sauces.

7. Select a healthy side dish, like steamed vegetables, a baked potato, or brown rice. If the entrée you’ve selected is served with fries, ask your server to make a substitution.

8. If ordering a salad, opt for a simple but tasty olive oil and vinegar dressing served on the side. Instead of high-calorie add-ons like cheese, bacon and croutons, go for grilled chicken, avocado, and broccoli.

9. A fresh fruit salad with whipped cream on the side or sorbet makes for a satisfying dessert.

10. Many restaurants serve large portions, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat everything on your plate. Have your leftovers wrapped, and enjoy them for lunch the next day.

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