Life doesn’t stop while you’re trying to lose weight, nor should it! You can still enjoy your favorite dining spots while you continue making progress toward your weight loss goal.
Sauces and Dressings on the Side
This is probably one of the best-known tips for eating out healthfully. Most of the time, restaurants drown their food in sauces or dressings, and too much, can even take away from your meal. By asking for these on the side, you can control what is going into your mouth.
Eat Half, Take Half Home
It’s no surprise that restaurants are notorious for handing out huge portions. But you can have your cake and eat it too. When you order your meal, also ask for a to-go box. Eat half then, and take the other half home. Boom. Two meals for the price of one!
Ask, Ask, Ask!
Don’t be afraid to ask your waiter/waitress about substitutions. If your meal comes with fried chicken; ask if it can be baked. Or, if the regular side dish is French fries, ask to swap in a salad. Most restaurants are accommodating when it comes to specific diet requests.
Know Your Cooking Lingo
Looking over a menu can be intimidating, but here’s the quick and easy way to spot your healthiest options: Look for foods with words like – baked, broiled, steamed, or grilled. These indicate that it was prepared with less fat. Avoid words such as – smothered, fried, breaded, or creamy.
Say Bye to The Bun (or at least half of it)
Eating a burger or sandwich open-face style cuts back on calories from refined carbohydrates, but still satisfies the craving. Other options include a lettuce wrap, or ditch the bun completely and load up on the veggie toppings!
With a few simple modifications, you can enjoy dining out and make choices that benefit your health and keep you on track for losing unwanted pounds. Don’t be caught without a weight loss snack on-the-go. Carry Fiber d’Lish bars since fiber helps you stay full longer, which makes it easier to make smart choices at restaurants.
Monica Werkin is a dietetic intern and graduate nutrition student at the University of Pittsburgh, working her way towards becoming a registered dietitian. Growing up in an Italian family, her passion for nutrition stems from a basic love of food, which grew into a fascination with health and eating right. After becoming an RD, she hopes to work in a specialized area of clinical nutrition. When she’s not in school, Monica is an occasional blogger, enjoys cooking, working out, and looking at puppies online.