How to Eat Healthy at a Restaurant

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Accept that dinner invitation tonight with friends and family and stop holding yourself back from a night out just because you are afraid of what the restaurant menu has to offer. Instead, get excited and be happy that you can now eat healthy at a restaurant, especially with the help of the following tips that will keep you on track in a restaurant.

First off, several chain restaurants have added healthier options to their menu and other “healthy” restaurants are popping up everywhere, giving you the opportunity to dine out more, so stop worrying about ruining your health and enjoy your meal.

How to Eat Healthy at a Restaurant

For restaurants that are not health-conscious or offering such options, here are 10 tips to help you eat healthy while dining out:

1. Make it Your Way

The restaurant wants your business and they will (or should) do everything in their power to make sure you have a great experience while eating a delicious meal. So be assertive when ordering specific menu items, if you don’t want mayonnaise, request that to be held off. If the dish comes with fries, request a salad or veggies instead. Most of the time the restaurant will have these options and will grant you these requests.

2. Ask for the Lite Menu Options

Several restaurants are offering “Lite Options” to their menu, offering meals with lower calories, carbs and fat. Be sure to ask for this menu and if the restaurant does not have this in writing, then ask your server to inform you of the healthier options “off the menu”.

3. Understand How Your Food will be Prepared

Ask your server or chef how your food will be prepared. Is your veggie burger frozen or homemade in the kitchen? Will the veggies be cooked in a microwave or steamed? Also, request for “no butter” on your potatoes or tell the server to hold the salt on your veggies. These small tips will save you on calories, fat and carbs, while enhancing the true taste of your food.

4. Order a “Healthy” Salad

Often times we are fooled thinking “salad” options are the healthiest choice on the menu,  however that’s not true for all salad dishes. In fact, a chicken caesar salad has more calories, fat and carbs, than a bacon cheeseburger! So understand what is going into your salad and ask for healthier salad dressing, like oil and vinegar and be sure to request that dressing “on the side” and to hold off on the croutons or extra cheese!

5. Order the Healthiest Fish

When dining at a seafood restaurant or ordering fish from such a restaurant, be sure to request how you want this prepared. Avoid avoid avoid fried fish! Instead, ask for you salmon to be grilled or blackened, reducing the fat and calories while enhancing the true flavors of your meal.

Always remember that dining out should be a great experience, for both the ambiance and more importantly, for the food. So don’t fret over what you’re ordering off the menu, instead be thankful of what you’re not going to order and that you can control your healthy habits even outside your own kitchen.

Photo Credit: Paleo Grubs Book

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