For those of you who love eating out, here are a few tips to help enjoy it without gaining the pounds!
1. Plan ahead what you will order at the restaurant. Most places now have “healthier” choices section.
2. Read the menu carefully for clue words
a. Terms that can mean more fat and calories: batter-fried, pan-fried, buttered, creamed, crispy, breaded
b. Terms that mean less fat and calories: baked, braised, boiled, grilled, poached, roasted, steamed
3. Watch portion size – try to order regular, smaller size portions or order an appetizer instead. If you know the portion sizes are large, ask the waitress to put half in a take-out box before it is served to you. Or share an entrée with a friend.
4. Limit calorie beverages including juices, soda and alcohol.
5. Ask for substitutions! Most places can offer baked potato, fresh fruit or vegetables in place of fries
6. Sauce on the side – ask for dressing and other sauces on the side (including butter). You will then have control of how much you use.
a. Tip: For salads, dip your fork into dressing and then take a bite of salad. You will get the taste of the dressing but will use significantly less!
7. Dessert – if you must have a dessert, order only one for the table and enough forks so everyone can have a bite! Or order sorbet, Italian ice or fresh fruit.
8. Avoid buffets - we typically overeat and feel we want to get our money’s worth for the meal
9. Salad Bars - watch out for high calorie toppings including nuts, dried fruit, bacon, cheese, and dressing