Eight Tips for Healthy Dining When Eating Out

To most of us living in the western world, eating out is no big deal. For those who are trying to become healthier, we probably watch our calories to a certain extent. Unlike eating at home, we have less control when we are eating out. So today’s short article presents you with a few tips on eating out.

One: Tomato-Based Sauces for Pasta

My first suggestion, ironically, makes me homicidal. Although I love cream-based pasta sauces much more than tomato-based ones, the fact is that tomato-based ones are healthier. Tomato based sauces are much lower in fat and calories, and tomato sauce can even be counted as a vegetable! Well, in a simplified way, it kind of is.

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Two: Sideline As Much As Possible

Ordering a salad? Ask for the dressing on the side. Apply this principle to any food which this is an option, such as bread rolls and butter. But why? Simple – because then you have control over how much you add to your meal, and we know that you are such a control freak. Bam!

Three: Non-creamy Soups

Ok, this one has the same effect on me as point number one. When you choose a soup, remember that cream based soups are higher in fat and calories than other soups.  A soup can be a great appetiser, as most are low in calories and you fill you up pretty fast. If possible, pick a non cream-based one that is palatable and you should be good to go.

Four: Potatify!

When ordering a baked potato, ask for salsa instead of sour cream, butter, cheese, or even bacon.  Salsa is, as a general rule, very low in calories and provides a healthy alternative with plenty of flavour and spice.  Speaking of which, a baked potato is much better than French fries on the side.

Five: Cooking Method Matters

As much as we like to deny it, it does!  Always look for food on the menu that’s baked, grilled, broiled, poached, or steamed.  These types of cooking use less fat in the cooking process and are usually much lower in calories. And no, they are not as unpalatable as you think they are.

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Six: The Rule for Desserts and Drinks

Okay, it is obvious that dessert piles on the calories! So consider sharing it with someone else. Or pick a fruit-based one to minimize the “damage”. For drinks, it is much less obvious. So to save on the calories, you should always try to drink water, diet soda or tea instead of soda or beverages that contain alcohol.

Seven: Fruits and Veggies

As key ingredients to your meal, choose dishes with fruits and vegetables.  Both fruits and vegetables are great sources of dietary fiber as well as many vitamins and minerals. And no, I’m not trying to push my vegetarian agenda. To each their own. But you know, just saying.

Eight: Full?

Don’t deprive yourself of the foods you truly love.  All types of foods can fit into a well-balanced diet. Just eat them first so that you get it out of the way. When you are full, stop eating.  Listen to your body and what it tells you. After that, take half of your meal home.  The second portion of your meal can serve as a second meal later.  This way, you get two meals for the price of one.

I hope these tips have been useful for you. Some of them are really obvious, but of course being human, we try to deny them. Some of these points are discussed in more detail in the Strategic Nutrition Guide, which you should get a copy of if you hadn’t already. All the best!

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