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Making Smart Restaurant Choices

Being on a diet shouldn’t mean that you have to deny yourself the pleasure of eating out with family or friends.

After all, restaurants have become places for lunch meetings, catching up with loved ones, and celebrating special occasions.

With a few simple tips and (a little bit of thought), you can enjoy any restaurant meal without sabotaging healthy eating habit.

Here is a little bit of advice for making smart restaurant choices…

Portion control:

This is key when dealing with almost any restaurant meal. Very few restaurants are interested in modesty when it comes to the amount of food in an entrée. The trick is to order wisely, and then eat only half of the food on your plate. This will prevent you from overindulging, with the added bonus of taking home the leftovers to enjoy the next day!

Be aware of cocktails:

A drink with dinner is okay, but at a restaurant, it is very easy for one drink to turn into two or three. Not only are these additional calories (especially many of the fancy mixed drinks that restaurants offer), but you are also less likely to eat wisely if you drink too much.

Don’t assume that salads are better:

There are still those among us who think that if we order a salad for dinner that we are being healthy. This is often untrue. Many salads at restaurants are oversized, and when you combine all of the various toppings and salad dressing, they can be extremely high in calories and fat.

Have an appetizer for dinner:

If you don’t trust yourself to order an entrée and eat only half, try an appetizer instead. (Now, this doesn’t mean choosing a giant plate of nachos and polishing it off by yourself).  Try to find something that sounds delicious but will be a smaller portion. Also, many restaurants are now offering small plate options and/or a section on the menu dedicated to healthier or lower calorie options.

If you can’t skip dessert, share it:

A huge caramel covered dessert can undo even the healthiest of restaurant meals. If you just can’t say no, I recommend ordering one dessert and sharing it. This way everyone gets to indulge their sweet tooth, but can stop after a bite or two.

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