When Eating Out Is Not Just a Special Occasion

What are you doing for dinner tonight? If you are not making your favorite dish at home, maybe you are heading to your favorite local restaurant for a special occasion…

Or, maybe you are nowhere near home and will spending the next ten days moving at lightning speed with no time to cook or even think about eating healthy. You just have to get food and keep going.

If you often find yourself in this position, take note of these 7 simple tips for eating out. Try to incorporate them into any dining experience, whether you are on the road or in your neighborhood eatery.

1. Skip the bread or chip starters. Instead, ask if you can have some cut-up raw vegetables. This can cut hundreds of calories from your meal.

2. Always choose your protein entree from the menu first. It should be about the same size and thickness as the palm of your hand. Fish is always a good choice.

3. Always ask the waiter to replace the rice, potatoes, or pasta with vegetables.

4. Order a salad with olive oil and vinegar while you are waiting for dinner.

5. If you like, have a glass of red wine or ice water while everyone else is munching on the rolls or chips. If you need to tame your hunger more, do so with a hot drink like tea or coffee.

6. Split an entrée with your companion or order from the appetizer menu to get a smaller portion size.

7. If you really came to the restaurant to eat dessert, then do not eat any carbs during your meal. Eat just a lean protein, and then split dessert with your dinner companion.

These tips are not meant to discourage dining out whether you are on the road or going out with your family or friends. The purpose is to arm you with the right plan of action. Be proactive. Have a talk with the waiter because these days most restaurants will prepare foods according to your specifications.

Also, remember that you do not have to eat everything that is put in front of you. Enjoy the non-culinary pleasures of eating out, like the atmosphere, relaxation, being catered to, and socializing with your friends… it’s not just about the food.