While restaurants are trying to change their menus to reflect healthier offerings, there are still some definite guidelines we need to follow to navigate menus to find the healthiest options.
1. Often the portions in restaurants are 2-3 times what we should be consuming.
- Order a half-portion if offered
- Request a take-home box be brought as soon as the meal is delivered, put half in the box and set it aside.
- Split an entrée with someone you are dining with.
2. Ask for sauces and dressings to be put on the side to control the portion.
3. Grilling, poaching, steaming or broiling is usually best without butter or cream. Seasonings are usually virtually non-caloric.
4. Sugary beverages are very high in calories, both soft and hard drinks. Always ask for water. Unsweetened iced tea, hot tea or coffee have little or no calories as well as dry wine, light beer or mixed drinks that do not contain sweet and sour mix or a lot of fruit juice.
5. When choosing sides, potatoes are usually high in calories, vegetables, salads and fruits are the best choices.
The best tip for eating out is to remember that most of the time, we eat out for the social experience, so keep the focus on enjoying that aspect of the evening and modify the meal to meet our health goals. This will make the dining experience truly a good one, where we can walk away from the table feeling good about the time we have shared and good about not having to unbuckle our belt.