Who doesn’t like to go out with some friends for cheap food and drink specials!? People go out to eat or more than just the food; it’s fun, relaxing, and spices up a sometimes monotonous daily routine. All these meals away from home though tend to come with a hefty price… one that, unfortunately, your waistline must pay.
So if you find yourself wanting to eat healthier, but don’t want to give up an important part of your social routine, you have to start making some tough decisions.
These may include:
- Splitting your meal with a friend
- Going with a side item instead of an appetizer
- Choosing water, unsweetened iced tea, or other drinks without added sugars or too many extra calories
- Starting your meal with a veggie-loaded salad instead of baskets of chips or bread
- Choosing main dishes that are vegetable oriented
- Ordering dishes that are steamed, grilled, or broiled instead of those that are fried or sauteed
- Saying no thank you to dishes covered in creamy sauces or gravies
- Choosing the smallest meal size available and keeping an eye on those portions
Okay, so these aren’t too tough, but if you are use to just eating whatever you want at restaurants, they may be a little more challenging than they appear. If you find them to be too difficult, then perhaps you need to make another type of tough decision – the decision to eat out less. If you only visit a restaurant once a month or so, you can take a more liberal approach to what you eat there because its not going to sink your eating plan. Instead, meals away from home have now become a special treat and not an everyday norm.
And be on alert, no matter how “healthy” the foods you see appear to be. Surprisingly, foods that appear to be good choices at restaurants are often still loaded with a lot of extra calories and fat (not to mention the added sugars, sodium, and other ingredients you just don’t need). For example, we took a look at the Applebees menu, a favorite dinner stop for many, earlier this week and were astounded with what we saw. The Green Goddess Wedge Salad, for example, seems like a great way to start your meal, right? It sounds pretty healthy; however, after looking at the nutrition facts, we found that it has 560 calories and 53 grams of fat! The Oriental Grilled Chicken Salad? It has a whopping 1290 calories and 81 grams of fat! So before you go out with your friends, be sure to look up where you’re going online first and see what your best option is and what tough decisions you need to make to stay on track.
What sort of tough decisions do you make to eat healthier at your favorite restaurants?