Who says eating out can’t be healthy? While eating out can be such a pleasure, which is not a bad thing, you might want to avoid overdoing it as most dieters tend to do. Even experts say an occasional splurge is a necessity, as long as we’re smart about our menu choices! Now, eating out does have it’s downsides, as studies have actually proven that every meal away from home increases an adult’s average daily calorie count by about 135 calories. So if you eat out five times a week, you automatically stand to gain up to 10 pounds a year. Nevertheless, you can eat out and still remain healthy as long as you remember to do these things:
1. Order first
Don’t wait to hear what others are ordering, before you place your order or you might just lose your resolve to eat healthy. Experts have revealed, if you order your meal first, before everybody else starts to order, then you might actually set the tone for the table to order healthier options.
2. Watch out for red flags
When you sit down to order, scrutinize the menu for red flags that indicate foods are high in calories. Anything showing creamy, crispy, fried, breaded or smothered should be avoided at all costs. On the other hand, foods that are grilled, steamed or broiled are a healthier option to go for.
3. Tailor the meal
If a meal has certain unhealthy elements, you should go ahead and ask for alterations to be made to the menu. You might have to replace certain unhealthy sides such as french fries for steamed vegetables, or if you are ordering pizza, perhaps you could ask the chef to go light on the cheese.
If you think a sauce is going to be loaded with calories, ask that it be brought on the side. You tend to eat less that way. Also, order your salad dressing on the side. Though dressing can be healthy, restaurants tend to serve two to three times the amount you need, and those calories can add up.
4. Box it up
Sometimes a restaurant serving can feed two, and in such cases you could ask the server to put away half of the meal for you to take home with you. This is because, once food is in front of us, we tend to eat it, even when we’re full.
5. Soup and salad
Ordering a salad or broth-based soup as your first course is another way to keep from overeating. A recent study has shown that people who eat a broth-based soup or a veggie salad before their meal tend to eat fewer calories for the entire meal.