5 Simple Tips for Eating Out

Have you ever felt exasperated as you go over the menu at your favorite restaurant and try to match the items to anything that remotely resembles the diet you’re on?  I have.  Dieting can add stress to the dining out experience and let’s face it, you are not always going to be able to maintain your diet if you eat out regularly.  However, I have found it is easier to eat out and not be stressed if I follow these 5 simple tips.

  1. Order a large salad.  If you order a large salad and eat all of it, there is much less chance that you will up on fatty foods and starches.  You may want to go easy on the dressing.  Order a side, if you can, so you can control how much fat is on your salad.
  2. Order appetizers or small plates instead of entrées.  If you order a large salad and 1 or 2 appetizers, this will likely be just enough for one meal.  You can also control more of what you are eating and most restaurants will offer a large variety of appetizers.
  3. Take half of your entrée home with you.  The simple solution if you order an entrée which you know is double the portion you should be eating is to cut it in half and take half home.  The doggy-bag option has the added bonus of providing you two meals for the cost of one.
  4. Make your sandwich open-faced.  I recently ordered 1/2 sandwich at Panera.  It was so large that it made me wonder what the whole sandwich looked like.  Do I really need that much bread, no!  So I simply ate half the bread by taking the top off my sandwich.
  5. Replace starches with mixed vegetables.  Most places now days will allow you to replace your pasta or potato side dishes with sautéed vegetables, which is a better option.

If you have any tips you would like to share, please comment below. Here’s to your health, salute!

Image courtesy of Rick Chung

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