When you don’t feel like cooking or simply want to get out of the house for a bit, dining at a restaurant is a great option. Let’s be honest, we all deserve to treat ourselves to a nice meal every now and then. Unfortunately, restaurants don’t always provide the healthiest options. To refrain from overindulging when dining out, keep these healthy restaurant tips in mind.
Pay Attention To Salads
Sure, salads seem like a healthy meal choice, but depending on the ingredients, you may end up with more than you expected. First of all, most restaurant portions are larger than normal. If possible, get a half order. Secondly, take a look at those toppings. Things like fried chicken, candied nuts, cheese, tortilla strips, and croutons can quickly add excess sugar, fat, and calories. Look for salads topped with lean protein and additional raw veggies. Lastly, order the dressing on the side and use it sparingly. You may lightly dip each bite in dressing or even use fresh salsa in lieu of dressing.
Skip The Dips
When you want to order an appetizer for the table, dips are usually an easy go-to. Unfortunately, these dips are often high in fat and calories, and commonly paired with bread, chips, or crackers, which offer high carbs and little nutrition. Instead, seek out raw or steamed seafood, or raw veggies with salsa as an appetizer. You can even order a side salad to help fill you up before your meal – just remember to watch those toppings and dressing.
Swap Your Sides
Trade your French fries, coleslaw, and mashed potatoes for a side of steamed vegetables or a baked potato. With the latter, you want to use just a bit of butter, and possibly top it with steamed veggies or fresh salsa.
Downsize Your Portions
As mentioned, portions are often oversized at restaurants. This can be especially problematic for those who feel driven to clean their plates. Instead, ask for a box as your meal arrives and pack half of your food to-go, which can help to prevent overeating. Or you can choose an appetizer as your entrée.
Water Is Better
You may not want to waste calories on a beverage when water is so refreshing and hydrating. Try a lemon or lime wedge to add some flavor. In terms of alcoholic beverages, you may want to opt for clear liquor and soda water with a lemon or lime to avoid excess calories and sugar.
Choose The Right Condiments
Much like toppings and dressings can sabotage a salad, the wrong condiments can sabotage your meal. Mayonnaise, ranch, Caesar dressing, honey mustard, and ketchup can be high in calories and sugars. Mustard, vinegar and lemon are better options for adding flavor to your foods. When all else fails, a bit of salt and pepper are fine alternatives as well.
Check The Menu Ahead Of Time
Doing a little research beforehand can help you decide what you’re going to order and how you will customize it. Preparing ahead of time can help you avoid giving into last-minute cravings because you can’t decide on a healthy option. It can even help you avoid restaurants with limited healthy options.
For delicious sandwiches and salads made fresh to order, visit the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli! Order online, call ahead, or come on in and dine with us.