It’s been a long day at work, and dinner out at a restaurant sounds much more tempting than cooking. However, eating out and healthy eating rarely go hand-in-hand. What to do? A Gathering of Experts will help you navigate some of the hidden pitfalls of eating out – even in high-end restaurants.
Whether you are on a diet or just don’t want to gain weight while on vacation, eating healthy and well at a restaurant is simply common sense. This can be addressed by managing portion control. One way to do that is to snack first on something like an apple with peanut butter or hummus and vegetables. In other words, don’t go into a restaurant with a growling stomach. And portion control doesn’t just mean self-moderation before appetizers – it also applies to “on the side.” Many chefs report that customers use more dressing than they would have received on the salad initially. Be smart and dip your lettuce into the dressing and don’t pour it on the salad.
Also, what you might think of traditionally as “healthy food” isn’t necessarily that at all. For instance, sushi will often be served in a jumbo portion and come deep-fried. Also, sushi sometimes contains mayonnaise – which is something that’s decidedly not healthy.
Avoiding side dishes altogether is also a great way to keep the calories off. Many sides are cheese based or fried, so when ordering food plan the meal around a good protein and simple vegetables. Stay away from anything with too many add-on ingredients.
It’s also a good idea to utilize the professionals. Servers memorize the specials and can help restaurant goers find an entree, either on the menu or on the special list that will fit their individual needs. Many people don’t ask too many questions out of fear of being labeled a “problem customer.” But, when in doubt ask an expert – and servers are the most knowledgeable people to ask.
Finally, check out restaurant menus online. That will help determine if it’s nutritionally the right fit. If your restaurant of choice doesn’t have a full-fledged website with a menu, utilize sites like Yelp.com for additional information. It’s possible to eat well and not consume an entire day’s worth of calories in one sitting.