While today's typical restaurants have come a long way when it comes to offering healthy alternatives, you'll still have to make some obvious choices (the salad instead of fries) while using certain strategies (like the following hacks) to keep your healthy eating on track.
1. Scan the menu ahead of time
Take advantage of online restaurant menus by checking them out before you head out the door. You'll be able to make a clear-headed meal choice without feeling rushed.
2. Don't show up starved
You're more likely to make poor food choices if you show up too hungry. A healthy, 100-calorie snack will curb your hunger and help you make good dining decisions.
3. Know the lingo
When the menu has words like "fried," “crispy," "creamy," "cheesy," "battered," and so on, you're safe to assume that they're high-calorie dishes.
4. Drink a glass of water
Plenty of research touts the benefits of downing a tall glass of water before eating. For one, it makes you feel full and helps reduce your overall calorie intake.
5. Box half of your meal before it even gets to you
If you're like a lot of people, it's hard not to eat everything on your plate. But if you ask the waiter that half of your meal be boxed before it ever reaches the table, that temptation will be easier to resist.
6. Have beverages served with your meal
If you're going to drink soda, beer or cocktails with your meal, have it brought with your meal instead of while you wait. It's an easy way to save 150 calories.
7. Fill up on veggies
Filling your stomach with a lower-calorie, high-fiber side salad or vegetable will make you feel fuller and eat less when your main entree is in front of you.
8. Skip the refills
Free drink refills somehow end up on your table without you asking for them, especially if you're talking with others. Ask your server to skip the refills, or have them bring a calorie-free club soda instead.
9. Put salad dressing on your fork instead
Instead of drenching your salad with potentially high-calorie, high-fat salad dressing, dip your fork into the dressing before loading it up with salad.
Good nutrition is an important step in a healthy lifestyle, as is exercise. Work with personal trainer Ralph Roberts to meet your fitness goals.
Trying to eat in more than out? Download Ralph Roberts’ free Healthy Grocery Shopping List!