Healthy Choices when Dining Out
Dining out can be daunting. There are so many options. How do you know which one to chose? You’d think the salad would always be a safe bet but when you factor in the dressing, cheese, croutons, wontons, etc, you’re looking at a 1000 calorie meal (if not more).
Here are tips to eat well while Dining Out:
Three popular cuisines:
- Fill up on steamed veggies, protein, and about 1/4th of your plate rice (brown is best).
- Ask for the sauce on the side.
- Eggdrop or Wonton soups make for a nice appetizer to help curb your appetite.
- Steer clear of anything fried, breaded, or coated in flour.
- Here are some safe terms: Jum (poached), Chu (broiled), Kow (roasted), Shu (barbecued).
- To really up your game, ask for your meal cooked in vegetable stock (a traditional Chinese style of cooking called “stock velveted”).
- This will reduce the calories in your dish by 150-300 and the fat by 15-30 grams.
- Avoid temptations from the beginning by asking your server to hold the bread.
- Instead, start with a salad or broth-based soup.
- Rather than cream sauces, choose marinara or olive oil and garlic.
- Italian restaurants are notorious for oversized portions.
- Ask for half orders or split with a friend.
- An even better plan is to have your meat and sauce served over veggies instead of noodles.
- Parmesan is great for flavor, but ask for it on the side so that you can control the amount.
- Avoid “Crema,” cheese, sour cream, fried options such as chimichangas, or anything “smothered.”
- Instead choose red sauce, pico or salsa verde.
- Fajitas are a great meal option because you can control how much to have of each component.
- Go easy on the sour cream and cheese.
- Fill up on the protein and veggies.
- Steer clear of chips, which are fried in oil.
- Instead start with ceviche or sliced veggies dipped in salsa or guacamole.
There’s no reason for a night dining out to sabotage your nutrition goals.
Lead by example and show your family and friends how to eat well without sacrificing your social life when dining out. ☺