Let’s be honest; if we had to choose between cooking our own meals or letting someone else do it, we would always choose the second option. In fact, we try to dine out as often as we can – y’know, without breaking the bank – and love to peruse the menu for the most delicious item on the menu. Yet, you just have to watch The Food Network to know that professional chefs use rich ingredients, a heck load of salt, and even more butter to make their food taste as yummy as it does. Because of this, dining out isn’t always the healthiest of options. Luckily, there are ways to make smart food choices when you’re dining out!
Check the menu before you leave
If you know you’re going to be dining out in the near future, you might want to check the menu before you leave. This way, you can have a gander at what they have to offer and the smart options that you could possibly eat. These online menus also hold all of the nutritional information you could possibly need so that you can cater your week to your meal. You might need to eat fewer calories one day to have a cheat meal the next – but at least you know in advance.
Make sure you’re the boss
We all know that “the customer is always right” – but when it comes to dining out, we often find it difficult to question the menu. It’s set in stone, right? Will it not upset the chef if we ask for something different? Actually, it won’t! If you’re trying to eat smart in a restaurant, it’s important to make sure that you’re the boss and ask for things your way. Making small changes to a menu may seem like an inconvenience, but it can make a drastic difference to its health benefits. So, ask for grilled chicken instead of fried chicken, ask for a salad or side of veggies instead of french fries, or just ask for a smaller portion. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
Find the lighter section of the menu
Nowadays, more and more restaurants are becoming health-conscious. They are catering for vegetarians, vegans, and more – and know that they have to offer these alternatives. Because of this, many restaurants are now offering sections of their menu that are specifically targeted towards those who are trying to be healthy. They may be advertised as ‘healthy’ or ‘low-fat’ options and can be just as delicious. So, why not give it a try?
Try double or nothing
Have you ever looked at the appetizer menu in a restaurant and been spoilt for choice? Normally, restaurants offer so many yummy appetizers it’s difficult to choose one to land on your plate. Yet, if you’re looking to make smarter choices when dining out, it might be an idea to choose two or more appetizers to fill your stomach. This can often be better than choosing a huge main course that will fill you up and then some. By choosing appetizers, you can have a more varied meal that will give you just the right amount of food.
Read between the lines
It’s a restaurants’ prerogative to ensure that their guests spend as much money as possible, which means they use every single ounce of creative license to make their food seem incredible. They will often use words such as creamy, stuffed, breaded, crisp, and sauteed to describe their food – but it’s down to you to read between the lines. These fancy words often hide the fact that these foods contain secret fats and calories. Know what you need to look out for!
Although it can seem almost impossible to dine out when you’re trying to be smart with your eating, it doesn’t need to be as hard as it may seem. In fact, it’s super easy. You just need to know how.