When life gets busy, sometimes it can seem unrealistic to make every meal at home, so going out to eat or ordering take-out food becomes a more accessible option. Whether you are eating at a restaurant or ordering restaurant food for take-out, there are a few simple ideas to help you stay on track with your nutrition goals.
- Plan ahead: Start by choosing a restaurant with many healthy menu options. If you can access the menu online ahead of time, take a few minutes to decide what you will have before you go. Look to see if there is nutrition information available.
- Watch your portions: You can split your meal or dessert with others, so you aren’t tempted to overeat. You can also split your food into the portion you want and ask for a takeaway container before your meal is complete, and package your second portion of food away for another meal later.
- Ask: Ask about possible substitutions, side dishes, and low-calorie beverage options. Request that dressings or condiments be placed on the side, so you have more control over what you are eating.
- Items to Limit: Try to limit items with words that include crispy, fried, buttered, creamed, and smothered. Sauteed, breaded, au gratin, scalloped, hollandaise, bearnaise, alfredo, or batter dipped.
- Items to Look For: Look for items with the words broiled, baked, roasted, grilled, boiled, poached, or steamed.
These simple tips can be a good start to healthy choices when eating out. See which strategies work best for you the next time you are out to eat or order food for take-out!