Watching Your Calories While Dining Out

Staying Healthy When Eating Out

When we dine out, we are, to a certain extent, at the mercy of the restaurant food choices.  However, there are still some ways to stick to our calorie count even if we are dining out.

Try to have a say on the restaurant choice.

Sometimes, you have the opportunity to choose the dining place. If this is the case, be sure that you are ready with your own choice of healthy restaurants.  As much as possible, do not be pressured into dining in a place where you know it will be difficult for you to find something healthy to eat. Find a compromise if not totally possible to get your way.  If it's a business meeting, you may opt for a place where you can order tea, a fruit smoothie, or something non-alcoholic for yourself.  For group parties, suggest a picnic or a pot luck activity so you can bring the type of food you want.  You may wish to consider volunteering your place so you can prepare the healthy meal course of your choice.

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Grab a bite before heading out.

Although this is an old trick, it still works, not just for keeping dining expenses under control, but also for keeping your cravings in check.  Going out with a slightly filled tummy ensures that you won't overeat.  It is an undeniable fact that if you go to a restaurant or an event where you know that food will be served feeling famished, you will want to attack the plate of food served, whether it is the breadbasket or the appetizer. The rumbling stomach tends to overrule the rationality.  When ordering, the tendency is to order the biggest steak with the creamiest cheese sauce, instead of salad and fish. Being slightly filled allows you to stay calm and rational enough to order the low calorie dishes.

Avoid the bar.

Some wines do offer health benefits such as antioxidant properties, but most alcoholic drinks only offer calories that you don't need.  A serving of wine with your meal once a day is fine. But do not make alcohol your regular companion. It is often customary for the hostess to invite you to the bar while waiting for the other guests or for the food to be served.  Resist this temptation.

Communicate with the server.

What you can see on the menu may not always be a hard and fast rule. Communicate with the server if it is possible to modify your order into something with less salt or with grilled or steamed vegetable rather than the fried version.  For omelets, perhaps opt for an egg white omelet instead.  Some restaurants are happy to satisfy their customers. It won't hurt to ask, if they say no, graciously accept what is available and cross out that restaurant from your list of ideal dining places.

Order small servings.

It seems that everywhere we go, food servings can be supersized or are large by default.  You may split the serving in half to share with your companion or to take home the other half.  Most restaurants are willing to do this. Just express your request in advance before the food is served.

By doing these things, you will do your body and your wallet a great favor and enjoy a longer an healthier life.