“Healthify” Restaurant Dining…
If you are foodie like me, I am sure the word restaurant makes you happy and your mouth water. People love their restaurants. However healthy eating and restaurant food doesn’t usually go hand in hand. Healthy eating is easier when we cook in our kitchen, where we have full control over the ingredients, menus and the way of cooking than when we dine out.
According to National Restaurant Association, about 24% Americans eat their meal outside. Restaurant food is good in taste, looks appealing, smells great and that’s because the food is prepared with rich sauces, creamy dressings, lot of butter and small portions of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. And therefore, when the server brings such interesting food to the table, nutrition or healthy eating ends up taking a back seat.
Here are some smart strategies for healthy eating out:
Cut portion sizes
When we order individual meal, do not gallop if you are full. Keep aside some portion of food to bring home for another snack, lunch or dinner. And for two people, an appetizer, salad and an entrée usually turn out to be sufficient. But at times people end up getting dominated by their taste buds. Most important mantra of healthy eating is, don’t let your taste buds take control over you!
Choose colorful smart options in salads
Always choose salad options that will fill your plate with different variety of fruits, vegetables and small portion of lean protein. Avoid ranch and creamy dressings, fat free and low-fat dressing (loaded with lots of sugar). Therefore, instead of dressing you can choose healthy oils with splash of lemon juice and vinegar rather.
Avoid refined carbohydrates
If the restaurant offers a complementary food basket and it is filled with starchy refined foods and breads. To save yourself from giving up on some of those, its best to ask the server to remove it from your table. Choose whole grains options instead of white rice, bread and other processed carbohydrates.
Ask for healthy options
Do not hesitate to ask your server to help you to choose healthy meal options. Some restaurants keep a mini healthy food menu available on demand too. For your sides, its good to ask for vegetables, salads or fruits instead of chips and fries. You can ask for meal to be prepared in your way such as less cheese, oil or butter. Concentrate on what type of healthy food you add to your plate rather than only what food to avoid. Also, do not hesitate to ask the server about dishes which are not present in the menu. Such as you can ask about the different types of vegetarian dishes the cook can make for example steamed vegetables or beans.
Keep a close watch at the menu descriptions
If you pay close attention to the description of a particular menu item you can get
Avoid fast eating
If you are already full it takes approximately 20 minutes for your brain to realize that you are full. That’s why it is very important to eat your food nice and slow. Fast eating often leads to overeating, while slow eating
Short stride after dining out
Always plan for some physical activity when you are dining out. A 15 to 20-minute walk after your meal improves your digestion.
Therefore, with some smart substitutions and customizations, you can have your healthy and nutritious food at the restaurant. So, go book a table at your favorite restaurant for the weekend.
Eat Healthy, Stay Healthy & Keep Smiling! 😊
“Healthify” Restaurant Dining…
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