How to Eat Healthy When Eating Out

When you are one of those very busy types with travel, projects, and meetings, it’s often difficult for you to cook breakfast, lunch, or dinner for yourself. The only option is to eat out in the office cafeteria or restaurants. Eating out can be fun and enjoyable when you know how to order a healthful meal. If you are worried about not eating a balanced diet, below are tips on how to eat a healthy dinner outside the comfort of home.

Tips on how to eat healthfully when eating out:

Order your meal how you like it: You can order your food the way you want it by changing the menu to your taste. Ask your server about healthful exchanges such as extra vegetables instead of the starch. You can also eat healthily at a restaurant by telling them the way you want your food prepared.

For example, if the menu says the side is French fries, you can request a salad, and instead of fried or breaded entrees, let the chef know you want your meat grilled or baked. 

Always take water before, during and after eating: Drink water throughout the entire meal. It slows you down, helps you enjoy the food more, and lets the message get to your brain that you’re full—before your plate is empty. Taking water at intervals makes your system work better especially during eating. When you take water while eating, it helps you taste your meal and enjoy it more. Taking water also satisfies your hunger sooner than food alone.

Be careful of the drink you take: You can merely take water, tea, or a fruit juice to complement your food after eating. If you want an alcoholic beverage, request wine or a clear liquor and avoid cocktails that have extra calories.

Select a plate of mixed fruit as your dessert: With fruit, you are sure of eating healthy food. Fruit aid in digestion and add beneficial nutrients.

Before eating check for the calories and the fat: Many states now require calorie-counts and nutritional values on the menu. You can ask the server about how they prepare meals: is it fried with butter or a partially-hydrogenated oil? Breaded? When you do this, you will be able to decide what is best for your health.

If you’re concerned about the healthfulness of a local restaurant, ask about restaurant ratings in your area.