It's easier than you think to make good choices when you are dining out. Most restaurants offer healthy choices that are also tasty, like grilled chicken or salads. It's still important to watch your portion sizes and try to avoid those tempting add-ons, like dressings, sauces or cheese because those will quickly add loads of fat (and calories) to your meal.
Here are some pointers to remember that can help you make wise choices when eating out:
- Go for balance. Choose meals that contain a balance of lean proteins (baked, broiled, or grilled greatly trumps fried), fruits/vegetables (nope, French fries DO NOT count...) , and whole-grains (brown rice or pasta is a great choice). A turkey sandwich on whole wheat with lettuce and tomato is a much better choice than a cheeseburger on a white bun.
- Watch portion sizes. The portion sizes of American foods have increased over the past few decades. For example, the average size of a hamburger in the 1950's was just 1.5 ounces, compared with today's hamburgers, which weigh in at 8 ounces or more. Isn't that crazy?!?! Most of the time, I ask for a to go box when my meal arrives, take half of it and put it out of sight so I don't feel tempted to be in the Clean Plate Club or just mindlessly eat as I am chatting.
- Drink water or low-fat milk. Regular sodas, juices, and energy drinks usually contain "empty" calories that you don't need — not to mention other stuff, like caffeine.