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10 Tips for Making Healthy Decisions While Eating Out

10 Tips for Making Healthy Decisions While Eating Out

Joan Schnorf

Being able to make healthy decisions while eating out is essential – especially during the holiday season, leaving you very little time to regularly prepare a home-cooked meal.

These 10 tips can help:

1.Choose the restaurant carefully: Planning ahead is one of the most effective ways to ensure that you make healthy decisions while eating out. Don’t decide on a whim to go to the local diner or all-you-can-eat buffet. Instead, pick a place that offers a variety of healthy food options to choose from; that way, everyone in the family can find something that they enjoy and still stay within their calorie budget for the meal.

2.Pre-game: Eating a healthy snack (e.g. an apple, a banana, a few fresh-cut vegetables, etc.) can curb hunger pains and reduce the likelihood that you will overindulge on the lovely bread basket that your waiter places before you as you sit down. And, speaking of which…

3.Send back the bread: It’s free, it’s delicious, and those tempting tendrils of smell are a siren song for your stomach – which is why you have to politely send that bread basket back, immediately. This is one of the essential healthy decisions you can make while eating out.

4.Drink (water): Hunger and thirst can feel extremely similar; what seems like hunger pains may actually by your body’s way of telling you that you’re in need of another glass of water. Avoid overeating by making sure that you’re properly hydrated before your meal begins.

5.Watch out for warning words: Menus are meant to get your mouth watering with delectable descriptions of food. Make healthy decisions by avoiding words such as: creamed, buttered, sautéed, au gratin, crispy, pan-fried, and scalloped. Instead, gravitate toward dishes with the words grilled, steamed, baked, broiled, or poached in their explanations.

6.Order first: Want to avoid being tempted by your table-mates’ less-than-healthy-choices? Catch the waiter’s eye and place your order first, fold up your menu, and hand it over.

7.Ask for extra: Don’t be afraid to ask for extra veggies with your entrée, or in your soup or salad. This is one of the simplest, yet most impactful, healthy decisions you can make while dining out.

8.Eat slowly: It takes approximately 20 minutes for your mind and body to tell you that you’re full. Eating slowly serves two purposes: it gives your body and mind to sync up and it gives you the opportunity to actually enjoy what you’re eating.

9.Color=health: More often than not, the more colorful a particular food is, the healthier it is. Think about it, fresh fruits and vegetables have vivid coloring, while calorie-dense, dressings, gravies, sauces, dips, and spreads are much duller.

10.Don’t avoid dessert: As far as healthy decisions go, skipping dessert may seem like a no-brainer, but depriving yourself of pleasurable foods is only going to make it harder to stick to your diet on an ongoing basis. Go ahead; order the sweet stuff, just keep it on the healthier side by opting for sorbet, angel food cake, lemon meringue pie, or desserts that are primarily fruit-based.

It’s not always easy to make healthy decisions, especially when you’re tired and stressed. Having the support of a personal trainer who is well-versed in what you should be eating to optimally fuel your body is invaluable. Not only do these men and women have the know-how to develop an eating plan that fits your specific fitness goals, they can also provide much-needed encouragement on those days when you feel like you’re not making any progress.

Want to learn how to make the healthy decisions that will truly change your life for the better? Call Fitness Together Ellicott City today at (410) 750-2228.

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