Amidst the vast pool of New Year’s resolutions one seems to win the popularity contest year after year—lose weight or get healthy. A major culprit to any diet blunder is bad eating. While eating wisely in the comfort of your own home may be difficult enough, eating a healthy meal while dining out can be an uphill battle.
The following 10 tips can make that climb a bit easier:
- As a beverage choice, ask for water or order fat-free or low-fat milk, unsweetened tea, or other drinks without added sugars.
- Ask for whole-wheat bread for sandwiches.
- In a restaurant, start your meal with a salad packed with veggies, to help control hunger and feel satisfied sooner.
- Ask for salad dressing to be served on the side and opt for a vinegar/oil-based dressing rather than a creamy one.
- Choose main dishes that include vegetables, such as stir fries, kebobs or pasta with a tomato sauce.
- Order steamed, grilled or broiled dishes instead of those that are fried or sautéed.
- Choose a “small” or “medium” portion. This includes main dishes, side dishes and beverages.
- Order an item from the menu instead of heading for the “all-you-can-eat” buffet.
- If main portions at a restaurant are larger than you want, try one of these strategies to keep from overeating:
- Order an appetizer-sized portion or a side dish instead of an entrée.
- Share a main dish with a friend.
- If you can chill the extra food right away, take leftovers home.
- When your food is delivered, set aside or pack half of it to go immediately.
- Resign from the “clean your plate club” — when you’ve eaten enough, leave the rest.
- To keep your meal moderate in calories, fat, and sugars:
- Ask for salad dressing to be served “on the side” so you can add only as much as you want.
- Order foods that do not have creamy sauces or gravies.
- Add little or no butter to your food.
- Choose fruits for dessert.
If you live in the Central Texas area, you can visit a restaurant that has partnered with St. David’s HealthCare as a participating partner in the Healthy Dining Program. This program provides healthy menu options for people who want to eat healthy while dining out. Participating restaurants offer approved menu items that have passed the Healthy Dining Program nutritional guidelines.
For more information about the program, including a list of participating restaurants, approved menu items as well as how to become a restaurant partner, click here.
-St. David’s HealthCare Healthy Dining Program