Dining Out with Friends: Sticking to Your Diet Plan
If you are a health buff, dining out may cause you to be overly concerned or disappointed. You might end up eating more than you wish especially when servings are big. And it’s quite easier for you to eat more calories than you would want to because you don’t really know what goes into the food they serve.
Going out doesn’t need to be that stressful. Having healthy eating habits doesn’t mean you need to exclude yourself and avoid going out with friends to dinner. You can still enjoy their company, and dine healthy at the same time, here’s how.
It’s very useful to check out the menu first before deciding to go any place. If it’s a place you’ve never eaten in before, this will give you a better idea of what food they serve. Some restaurants include calorie counts beside the dishes to guide healthy eaters who are conscious about their calorie intake – this is helpful. Sometimes restaurants print sections for ‘healthy’ or ‘light’ dishes. This helps you avoid those dishes that are calorie-rich, with cheesy and creamy sauces.
At times, you don’t know how a certain dish is prepared or what its ingredients are, but you can inquire from your server. Is it baked or fried, or is there additional ingredients like oils or creams in the recipe? You can make an informed decision about your order instead of ending up with food that is not as healthy as you think it is.
You will often find that restaurants will offer you side dishes of potatoes or fries that come with your order. If you ask your server if they can serve you a leafy salad instead when you order, they usually agree with you. But if you are a fan of baked potatoes, go ahead, just leave out the sour cream.
Most of the time, if you ask nicely, restaurants will have no problem adjusting to your requests. You can ask sauces or cheese to be removed from your order, if you think it is too much, and the dish is healthy. You might just want to ask for a separate dish for your sauce, so you can control the amount you put. But it would be better for you to always ask for dressings and sauces on a separate side dish, as restaurants tend to splash them plenty on green salads.
Most of the time, starters and desserts can be done away with. But if you are in the mood, pick a starter instead of a dessert. Look for a soup that is not cream-based. Salads without bacon, cheese, or rich and creamy dressings should be good.
If you will have wine, a glass is enough.