Eating Out Tips to Implement in the New Year (HAPPY 2013!)

diningoutcartoonWe do it all the time. Sometimes more than once a day. Eating out. Dinning at restaurants outside of the house. Sometimes for the pure convenience of not having to grocery shop, cook and clean at home. Other times it’s for the social aspect. It’s such a common occurrence; eating out to meet with friends, catching up over a meal, or possibly even meeting someone for the first time.Eating out is convenient, easy and can be really fun. But depending on where you go and what you order, eating out can wreak havoc on your waistline.

In an effort to curb that from happening, here are 10 tips to always consider when dinning out.

  1. Don’t arrive to a restaurant starving! You’re much more likely to eat too quickly and overeat.
  2. Drink water! Water helps feel you up so you don’t overeat on fillers such as bread or chips and salsa. Add lemon, orange, lime or cucumbers to your water for added flavor.
  3. Look up nutrition and calorie information prior to your arrival. Be knowledgable!  These days majority of restaurants offer lower calorie meal options. Utilize your smart phone for this if you’re on the go. I’m sure there’s an app for that!
  4. Watch your sodium intake for the remainder of the day. Remember sodium makes us retain water which in turn make us feel bloated, and that’s never a good feeling.
  5. Take time to read the menu. Be sure you read what the meal entails and if you don’t know what an ingredient is, don’t be afraid to ask your server. They’re there to help you!
  6. Order lean protein options ‘dry-fried’ meaning cooked with no oil or butter. Believe us, the flavor will still be there!
  7. Get creative – don’t be afraid to order an appetizer for dinner or an entire from the kids menu. These portion sizes are better and just as satisfying.
  8. Order your food selections ‘undressed’ meaning without the creams, sauces, dressings, etc. Then you can add low calorie condiments like salsa, mustard or balsamic vinegar.
  9. Socialize! No need to rush through your meal. Take your time while eating and chew each bite thoroughly. You will enjoy your meal and a whole lot more. Also, save on calories by getting extra friendly and sharing your meal.
  10. Substitute. Swap our for mixed greens, tomato slices, extra veggies, fruit salad in place of fries, coleslaw or mashed potatoes.

A rule of thumb I personally live by and implement on a daily basis – I choose to eat my calories and not drink them! There’s much more nutritional value for your body in this practice. Eliminate soda from your diet and keep the alcohol and caffeine consumption to a minimum.

Eating out is inevitable. It’s going to happen. So be sure to implement these tips into your healthy eating habits every time you dine out.

Cheers to health in the New Year!  Happy 2013!