Eating Out the Healthy Way

We’ve all been there, working tirelessly to lose weight, look great and feel better about ourselves. We’ve made multiple sacrifices, including following a strict, cleaner diet. It wasn’t easy, but you got there. So what do you do when your friends invite you out for something that isn’t so clean? Something that tastes amazing, but is fat and calorie filled. The same stuff you’d spent so long cleansing your day of is trying to sneak back in. Do you skip it and miss out on the social fun? Do you let your diet take a detour and indulge? How about neither! Keep reading to find out how to pull it off.

Trusty Tips on Eating Out and Staying Clean

1. Choose tomato-based sauces versus heavy crème-based ones like alfredo sauce, which are typically high in fat and calories.

2. Drink lots of what before and during your meal. It’s healthier option than soda obviously, but it also makes you feel full faster, preventing overeating.

3. If skipping dessert isn’t happening, make sure you order something like fresh fruit, which is sweet, but minus the fat and calories you’d get in a slab of cake.

4. So many restaurants today have a section on their menu catering to healthy eaters (it’s trendy!). Even if they don’t, ask your waiter if they could tailor a dish to meet your dietary demands. They’ll likely say yes.

5. As soon as you start feeling full, get your waiter’s attention and ask for a doggy bag, to help prevent you from picking at your food and overstuffing yourself. Out of sight, out of mind.

6. Instead of sour cream based dips or heavy fat-filled salad dressings, opt for toppings like salsa or low-cal dressings. At the very least, ask for the dressing on the side, and use it sparingly.

7. Avoid all-you-can eat establishments or buffets, where you really have no option but to eat way past what you should. If it’s impossible to avoid, ask the waiter if you can order a la carte.

8. Order an app as a main to avoid supersized portions. If you still feel like you need more, get a side salad too.

We touched on it above, but check out the chart below for more tips on what you could substitute an unhealthy option with at most restaurants:

TYPICAL SUBSTITUTE
Heavy, rich salad dressing Fat-free dressing or olive oil
Cheese Low-fat cheese
Mayonnaise Mustard, ketchup or relish
Milk Skim milk
Breaded chicken Broiled or grilled skinless chicken
White pastas Whole grain pastas or couscous
Soft drinks Diet soda
Sugar (for coffee or tea) Artificial sweetener or agave
Cream (for coffee or tea) Low-fat milk
Ice cream Fruit
Baked potato Garden salad
Tartar sauce (for fish) Lemon juice
Beef Fish or chicken
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