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Healthy Tips For Dining Out 2010-05-13 07:30:58

Speak Up: Tricks For Dining Out Without Porking Out

Country music singer Carrie Underwood avoids going out to eat as a way to stay on the healthy path, but I could never do that. I go out at least once a week, whether it be for a big family breakfast, lunch with my gal pal, or a dinner date with my hubby. I will say that with all the deliciously decadent foods on the menu, it's hard not to be tempted to overindulge, which can be bad news for your waistline.

I believe that you shouldn't deny yourself the occasional pleasure of eating at your favorite restaurants, but it's always good to have tricks up your sleeve that allow you to enjoy yourself without undoing all the good you do. What tricks do you use when dining out?

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Kellanawida Kellanawida 6 years
I don't go out to eat that often so I usually let loose a bit.I try to avoid the garlic bread and desserts. My fave restaurant has a lovely medeteranian chicken salad with plenty of fresh veggies so I enjoy that one every time.
Spectra Spectra 6 years
I'm insanely picky about what I order. I know that restaurants often drown things in butter/dressings/etc., so I'll often order an entree salad with the dressing on the side with no croutons or cheese; topped with grilled chicken or shrimp. Or I'll get a piece of chicken or fish grilled with no oil and a side of steamed veggies with no butter. When you are paying for your food, you should always get it exactly how you want it; if it isn't to your specs, you shouldn't be worried about sending it back.
1apple 1apple 6 years
I can usually discern what a healthy choice is on a menu (grilled chicken sandwich, a wrap with no mayo, war wonton soup etc.) so I just choose those things. They also happen to be what I like the most. (Well, except when there's ginger beef. Then all bets are off!)
Beaner Beaner 6 years
I always order a salad as my entree, with the dressing on the side. Or if I'm not in the mood for salad, I split an entree with my hubby. Water is always my beverage of choice (which isn't hard because I'm pregnant!), and we never get dessert. I make dinner be more about the conversation than the food.
lemuse20 lemuse20 6 years
I try to look up the menu, and if that's not available, I will do research on the cuisine (Asian, Italian, ect) to see which popular dish would be my best bet. I NEVER go on a completely empty stomach, I always have a small snack bar (about 120-150 cal) in my purse just in case -I will eat it even if I am waiting 30 min for our table. I always make sure my blood sugar is level so I don't scarf down everything in sight. It doesn't matter if I won't be able to eat my entire dish just because I wasn't starving, I can always take it home!
Deidre Deidre 6 years
I think the biggest thing for me is eating slowly and making sure to talk a lot. Socialization is a big part of the reason I'm dining out to begin with, right? By eating slower I fill up on less, so I can take the leftovers home for later. Like others here said, I just try to think of it as a two-for-one meal.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 6 years
I always try to look at the menu beforehand to see what are the healthiest options. I also try to only eat half of an entree, since the portion sizes are usually so gigantic. I don't box it up beforehand, just stop when I realize I'm about halfway done since I'm usually satisfied by then.
wmoonw wmoonw 6 years
I'm with belle28! Looking up the menu beforehand is a great way to get something that sounds good and also is reasonably healthy. If it's an impromptu meal and I can't get an idea of the damage first, I'll just take half of it home.
belle28 belle28 6 years
i usually look up the menu and the nutrition prior to going out. i pick out something that won't go over calorie limit and i get pysched for it. i also have a list of go-to fast food calorie menu on my phone.
kimmieb124 kimmieb124 6 years
When I eat out, I focus on portion control. I order what sounds good to me on the menu, which is not necessarily what is labeled as a healthy choice. When I get the item, I divide it in half (or even in a third if it's an extra large portion) and I only eat one half and box the other half. This way I don't feel deprived because I'm eating what I want and usually the portions are so large that I'm full before I get halfway through anyway. If I get tempted to keep eating past the portion I divided, I remind myself that I need the other part for lunch the next day and if I eat too much of it I won't have enough for lunch. Knowing I'll have the yummy food to enjoy the next day keeps me from feeling like I need to eat all of it right away. I also try to slow down when I'm eating by conversing with whomever I'm eating with and taking sips of water. Even if I order alcohol, I always have a glass of water, too.
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