Sometimes eating out is unavoidable but it can be really tricky to stay on track when doing so. A single entree can cost you up to 1,000 calories or more in just one sitting. The more you know, the more control you'll have over your options and have an easier time sticking to your calorie budget.
With just a little research, for example, you will find that many chain restaurants offer lower-calorie menus and options. Try to figure out where you’ll be going ahead of time so that you can view the menu online to avoid surprises. Opt for a restaurant that displays their nutrition information online or in the menu. If you know you’ve got to have your favorite pasta dish and just can’t skip the bread, plan ahead, eating a lighter breakfast and lunch.
Really it’s all about balance, going out to eat should be enjoyable. On the other hand, don’t use it as an excuse to overindulge. Here are a few tips from Everyday Health to get you through dining out with a smile on your face.
If the restaurant serves large portions, eyeball what you will eat. Once you’ve eaten that amount, have the wait staff take the rest away. Never leave a partially consumed meal in front of you—it’s too tempting to pick at it.
—Lobby for your workplace to have healthy eating options in the cafeteria.
—Drink lots of water with the meal.
—Order a salad.
—Avoid the complementary bread they put on the table.
—If fries, potato or rice come with your order, ask for a vegetable instead.
(Photo: The Plain Dealer/Landov)