For many people, eating out is a way to relax and socialize. But if
you are watching your weight or just are concerned with healthy eating, dining
out can be a challenge. The good news is that usually there are healthier
options at every restaurant, even at fast-food places. By following some simple
guidelines, you can enjoy eating out and still have a healthy diet.
When possible, plan
ahead. Before you get to the restaurant, think about how you can make the meal
It's a good idea to skip a meal if you know that you
will be going out to eat later that day.
It's harder to make healthy food choices when
you get too hungry. If you know that you will be eating out, try to make wise
choices for the rest of the day. But don't skip meals.
Continue to Why?
When you go out to eat, there are often more temptations than there are
at home. The large portions that most restaurants serve can make it easy to
overeat without even realizing it. You may feel pressure from the other people
at your table to choose foods that normally you would not. And sometimes there
just aren't a lot of healthy choices available on the menu.
the good news is that there are always ways to make the best of the situation,
whether that means asking for your food to be prepared with less fat or
splitting a meal with a friend. To stay on track, take a moment before you go
out to eat to remind yourself why it is important to you to make healthy
Tempting food, large portions, and pressure from
friends can all make it harder to make healthy choices when you eat
It can be hard to make healthy choices when you
eat out. To stay on track, take a moment before you go out to eat to remind
yourself why it is important to you to make healthy choices.
Continue to How?
Follow the same guidelines when you eat out that you would if you were
eating at home. This doesn't mean that you have to give up ordering dessert.
But you may want to order it less often and share it with someone else at your
A good way to control your portions is to split a
meal with someone else at your table.
Restaurants tend to serve portions that are
enough for two or three people. Sharing can help you avoid overeating.
Your beverage choices are just as important as your
food choices when you eat out.
The calories in soft drinks and alcoholic
drinks can add up. Water, sugar-free or low-calorie fruit-flavored sparkling
water, and unsweetened iced tea are better choices.
Continue to Where?
Now that you have read this
information, you are ready to make healthy choices when you eat out. Talk with
your doctor about making healthy food choices. He or she may have more
suggestions and tips. You may also want to meet with a
registered dietitian for more ideas about healthy
Return to topic:
January 25, 2013
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
& Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
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