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Most believe that being healthy means not eating out at restaurants, but this isn’t true at all. You don’t have to stay at home to be healthy. Whether it’s to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, or an accomplished milestone, or just because—it’s time to enjoy without feeling guilty! Here’s how you can stay healthy when you eat out.
1. Read the menu first.
Most restaurants will display their menus online, which can be really beneficial. Getting the general overview of the restaurants theme and types of food will help you pick the healthiest choice at home while you have many resources at your fingertips. You can also save money by being cost effective and getting the most bang for your buck. Save waiting time in the restaurant by knowing what you want to order instead of deciding when you are there.
2. Steer clear of bread and chips.
Although the initial presentation of bread and chips are mouth-watering, make sure to push them aside to save for the healthier, main course. After all, that is one reason why you came to the restaurant in the first place. Not only will these carbohydrates fill you up so you won’t be able to eat most of your meal, they will be absorbed into the body as sugars and fats.
3. Eat a healthy snack beforehand.
Why would you eat before going out to eat? To curb your cravings and sweet tooth! This will also help you avoid the temptation of the bread or chip basket. A small light snack will trick your tummy to feel nourished so you don’t splurge on carbs.
4. Bring your own condiments and dressings.
It may seem a little out of the ordinary, but bringing your own condiments and dressings will save you a load of calories. Most restaurants sauces and dips are loaded with processed sugars, inflammatory oils, and artificial flavors. By using your own versions, like olive oil and apple cider vinegar, you can keep your meal healthier while lowering the calorie count.
5. Keep things simple.
As a rule of thumb, smaller and simpler meals tend to be healthier as they contain less additives and calories. Instead of soft drinks filled with empty calories, drink water with a slice of fresh lemon.
6. Speak up for yourself.
Don’t be shy if you have a question or concern on the menu. Let your waiter know if you have food restrictions or allergies, or to ask if you can swap an unhealthy side dish for a fresh salad, soup, or veggies. They may be able to do more than you think!
7. Look at the alternative menus.
Most places these days have alternative food menus for the healthy conscious. Ask around for the gluten-free, vegan, or vegetarian menus or dish options.
8. Swap a side dish for veggies or salad.
This may seem obvious while you’re reading it but not so much when you’re seeing it. Always choose for the greener or lighter options as possible. Go for the green to get to your healthy goals.
9. Ask what oil the food is cooked with.
Generally, restaurants use generic brand oils, which are cheaper and potentially not good for you. These oils often contain inflammatory polyunsaturated continents that can withstand high temperatures. Good options to ask for are coconut oil, olive oil, or natural butter.
10. Support healthy restaurants.
Whether it’s the newly popular place to be, the mom and pop store down the street, or the hole in the wall, it’s important to support local and health-conscious restaurants. Check the web for organic or noteworthy restaurants. Your support will help grow their business and spread awareness.
Don’t be afraid to get out of the house to eat! These tips may seem small, but they can make a big impact in the long run. Be sure to use these guides when dining out to keep your health conscious eating habits. Enjoy!
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