10 Fail Proof Ways to Eat Healthy When Dining Out

It is hard not to overindulge when eating out. What with the multiple courses, large portions, influence of alcohol and the long time spent in the restaurant. When we are having a good time socialising and laughing over the table, it is easy to let our guard drop.

How to Eat Healthy When Dining Out

1.  Eat before you go

This tip is just common sense. The more you eat at home, the less hungry you will be when you go out, so the less you will order.

2. Take half your meal home

Ask your waiter to put half of the dish in a take home box before it is brought to the table. This means that you won’t be able pick at your meal when you are full, and waiting for others to finish.

Follow this tip particularly if you know the restaurant offers large portions. Not only will you eat less, but you can have two meals for the price of one.

3.  Easy on the alcohol

A glass or two of wine is enjoyable with any meal and whilst chatting with friends. But try to avoid having any more than one or two glasses. Not only does alcohol contain empty calories, but it will lower your inhibitions so you will be more tempted to order high calorie foods.

For those who love beer, try switching to wine. Not only will it complement the taste of your meal better, but wine contains less calories than beer.

The best option of course is to avoid alcohol altogether and stick to water.

4.  Ask, Ask, Ask

If you are unsure as to whether a dish is healthy or not,  unsure as to what it contains or how it is prepared, then don’t be afraid to ask the waiter. The waiter may also be unsure, but he will  ask the chef for you. Either way, you will have a much better idea of what is healthy and what is not.

5.  Avoid the buffet

One of the best ways on how to eat healthy when dining out is too avoid the buffet. It is all too easy to overeat when you see nothing but rows of food placed in front of you. If you are like me, then the temptation is usually too great to ignore. I therefore make sure that I stick to the a la carte menu.

Sometimes you have no say as to where to eat, so you might find yourself in an all you can eat restaurant. If this is the case, try to sit as far away as possible from the buffet.

6.  Plan ahead

If you already know where you will be dining, and if it is not a spur of the moment decision, make sure you look at the menu before you go out. These days, every restaurant seems to have a website with their menu on it. Find out what is healthy, and make sure you stick to it when the time comes to order.

7.  Avoid fried dishes

Opt for dishes that are baked, broiled, grilled, poached or steamed. Nothing says unhealthy like fried, sautéed, stuffed or escalloped food. If you are unsure as to how a dish is prepared, then don’t forget to ask, ask, ask.

8.  Order dressings and sauces on the side

A simple but effective tip to eat healthy when dining out is to order dressings and sauces on the side. Dressings and sauces tend to contain a lot of calories. Have you ever ordered a salad thinking it would be the healthy option, but are presented with a pile of lettuce soaked in ranch dressing? Ordering dressings and sauces on the side means you can control how much to add to your meal.

9.  Stick to whole grains

Choosing dishes made with whole grains is an easy way to eat healthy when dining out. Choose whole wheat bread rather than white bread, and make sure you order whole grain pasta or brown rice as well.

10.  Eat healthy for most of the week

Sometimes we want nothing else but to enjoy the fattiest, tastiest food that a restaurant has to offer. Especially when we are dining out as a celebration, or if we haven’t seen friends in a long time.  If an occasion like this occurs, I make sure that I eat healthy for most of the week. This will allow you to eat anything you want at the restaurant, and not feel guilty about it.