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Nutritious Tips for Dining-Out

It is usually more difficult to control your calories when dining out. Here are a few tips to help keep your choices healthful, and your calories in check:

1. First, be sure that you have received the card from my office that will allow you to order a half-sized adult portion or from the children’s menu. Portion control is an appropriate first step, and you might as well save your money too!

2. To help with portion control, take your time… Chew slowly, savor your food, and put your silverware down between each bite. We tend to hold onto our forks, knives, and spoons – if you make a conscientious effort to put them down between each bite, it will slow you down!

3. Pay attention to your meal, and how you feel. The portions served at most restaurants today could feed at least two people. Don’t be afraid to end your meal before your plate is cleared, and take food home with you.

Okay, beyond portion control…

4. Get the bread and chips off the table before it’s too late! Ask your waiter/waitress not to serve them, or take them back.
5. Look for ‘heart-smart’ foods or a ‘heart-healthy’ selection.

6. Of course, choose protein first. Next choose protein, then protein.

7. We eat too much fried food while dining out. It is best to choose meats that are grilled, broiled, or roasted, and fish that is baked, blackened, or broiled. Avoid foods that are sautéed – its sabotage.

8. ALWAYS ask for dressings, gravies, and sauces on the side. You need to be in control of these! I also recommend asking if any low-fat or reduced-fat options are available.

9. Don’t every shy away from ordering the right side dishes. They are common culprits for hiding calories. Steamed vegetables, low-fat soup, baked potatoes, and salads are always great choices. Try to avoid french fries, heavily buttered mashed potatoes, cream-based soups, heavy coleslaw or salad dressings.

10. Many restaurants will have their menu available online. Check it out in advance, find the healthful options, and prepare your choices!