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Eating healthy when dining out

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Even the healthiest eaters like to dine out from time to time.  There are many benefits to cooking and eating at home, but sometimes it’s nice to have someone else do the work or to have a meal out with friends and enjoy the social time.  The good news is that it is completely possible to still make healthy choices while dining out and not blow your healthy eating lifestyle!

Do your homework first.  Many restaurants publish their nutritional information online.  Reviewing this information prior to your visit can give you time to analyze your choices and carefully decide your healthiest option.  Many restaurants now have at least a few healthier options for those that are more health conscious.  There are also many smart phone apps that provide nutritional data.

Order water.  Ordering water instead of an alcholic drink or soda can save you many unnecessary calories and sugar.  This is an easy way to keep your calorie count under control.

Avoid appetizers and desserts.  Most restaurants serve oversized meal portions with their entrees so adding an appetizer and/or dessert can add excessive calories that will sabatage your healthy eating lifestyle.  Very few appetizers can be considered healthy options since most are fried.

Ask for a doggie bag when your food arrives and put half your meal in the box.  Most restaurant portions are the equivalent of at least two meals.  Splitting your oversized meal into two meals will help you avoid the temptation to mindlessly overeat.

Simple is best.  Avoid excessive preparation and additions to food.  Grilled and steamed options are best.  Fried foods or foods covered in heavy sauces will add an exhorbitant number of calories that you don’t need.

Ask questions and special order if necessary.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions about how food is prepared and special order.  Many restaurants will allow you to substitute items that are available on the menu such as selecting steamed veggies instead of french fries.

Stick to your plan!  Going into the restaurant with a specific plan will help you avoid temptation if you stick to the plan.

How do you make healthy choices when you dine out?  Are there any restaurants that you consider to be good choices for healthy eating?

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