It can be hard to stay healthy when going out to eat at a restaurant. The problem is that even when you think you've found an option that is healthy there can still be hidden ingredients that add excess fat, unnecessary carbs, or excess sodium. For example, you might order a side of vegetables and feel great about your "healthy" decision, but what you may have not been told is that there's melted butter and added sodium to enhance the taste of those vegetables. It's not uncommon for restaurants to add ingredients to enhance a dish. The problem is that they may have your healthy diet in mind when creating their selections. Many individuals would be surprised to see the facts on a nutrition label of the dish their eating.
Tips for Eating Smart
1. Prepare by looking at the nutrition facts of the menu items before you arrive or order
A big part of eating healthy while going out is knowing what your healthy options are prior to ordering. Looking at the nutrition facts will inform and prepare you to make the healthiest decision. Don't try to guess what's healthy on the menu. Get your facts from the nutrition labels online or with a physical copy. When looking at your options, aim for the dish with high protein, and lower sodium, fat and carbs.
2. Customize your meals
If you see that there's an unhealthy part to a dish, then have the waiter or waitress swap it out for something healthier. Most restaurants will allow you to make changes to your dish and customize it just how you want it.
3. Stick with water
For many individuals, having a drink (other than water) is the automatic default for them. But this can defeat the whole purpose of you trying to eat healthy if you are having a drink that has tons of sugar.
4. Skip dessert
Most restaurant desserts are going to be loaded with sugar and fat. Skip the dessert and have a healthy alternative at home.
5. Skip the appetizers
Eating appetizers will only add more calories, namely fat and carbs before your meal is even served. Skipping the appetizers means you get to eat more for your entrée.