THE GUIDE TO HEALTHY DINING OUT
- Try to choose eating establishments that are likely to have healthier choices, or will cook to your preferences.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for dressings on the side, less butter in cooked dishes, baked potato instead of french fries, etc. You should also inquire how a meal is cooked and seasoned if you’re not sure.
- If the portion looks larger than you should have, and likely it will be, immediately divide your meal in half, sliding one portion off to the side, and designating this half as ‘take-home’ for tomorrow. This is true with sandwiches at lunch; half is usually plenty.
- Be sure you eat your meals and snacks just as you normally would, and definitely have a snack if your meal will be later than usual. You should have a good appetite, but do not go out to eat feeling hungry!
- Drink water to help slow you down and fill you up.
- Eat slowly and enjoy your meal. Enjoy the company and ambiance. Be glad you are not cooking and cleaning!
You can order cold or hot cereal with skim milk, yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit, or eggs (scrambled, poached or egg white omelettes) with whole wheat toast. Use jelly, butter, margarine, or cream cheese sparingly. Try peanut butter on your toast.
- Portion size should be smaller than would be for dinner. Try a salad with low-fat protein such as turkey, chicken, cottage cheese or tuna. Ask for oil and vinegar or dressing on the side. You can also choose yogurt with fruit salad, or a sandwich with lean meat (such as roast beef or turkey) on whole grain bread, with lettuce and tomato.
- Good side dishes include coleslaw or a carrot, cucumber or bean salad.
- A grilled hamburger is a better choice than a hot dog.
- Bean or vegetable soups are good choices. Avoid cream soups.
- Fresh fruit and low-fat yogurt are better dessert choices than cakes and pies.
- Ask to have waiter remove the bread basket if it’s too tempting!
- Have a low calorie appetizer, such as shrimp cocktail, tomato juice, raw vegetables, or fruit salad.
- Review choices on menu and try to choose a low-fat protein food, such as poultry, fish, or lean meat. Avoid deep-fried foods. Ask for sauces on the side, or held altogether. Ask for vegetables steamed, without added fat.
- Fruit, sorbet and angel food cake are low fat choices. If you really want to try a higher calorie dessert, share with someone else or the whole table. A few bites can be very satisfying.
- A cappuccino makes a great dessert without the excess fat and calories.
- Limit alcoholic beverages. Any reduction in your usual amount will help you reach your goals. Try mixing your liquor with diet soda, water, or club soda.