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Eating Healthy While Dining Out

Next time you eat out or order in. Consider what the real cost is. The average restaurant meal has over 2,000 calories. That's enough to blow any healthy eating plan. 

There is a way to eat out and be healthy. Yes. You can have your cake and eat it by following a few simple guidelines. Fortunately,  you can dine out without having to sacrifice good taste and nutrition.

1. Avoid Appetizers

Avoiding appetizers is an excellent way to maintain a healthy weight. Some appetizers have more calories and fat than the main course, which is a little-known fact.

Furthermore, many appetizers are fried and served with heavy sauces, increasing your intake of saturated fats, trans fats, and calories. It's not a good way to begin your meal. The best way to avoid appetizers is to avoid them entirely.

2. Say "yes" to Salad.

Salad is a health-conscious eater's best friend. It will not only fill you up, allowing you to consume fewer calories overall, but it will also provide you with a significant amount of heart-healthy antioxidants.

Be sure to ask your waitress to hold the croutons and cheese, to further reduce your caloric load. Also, choose your dressing wisely. Avoid cream-based dressings in favor of vinegar-based dressings. You can also use vinegar and olive oil, which are both heart-healthy.

3. Work The Entrée Selection

Go for broiled and grilled rather than fried. You'll not only save calories and fat grams, but you'll also avoid trans fats, which are common in fried foods. Instead, request a double order of vegetables with your entrée. Few people consume the seven to nine servings of fruits and vegetables that are recommended for optimal health. Furthermore, by avoiding starch, you will reduce your caloric and carbohydrate load.

Also, instead of using cream-based sauces, use tomato-based ones. You'll save a lot of calories this way. Finally, request that the sauce be served in a separate dish on the side so you can control how much you eat.

4. Don't Drink Calories

Consider what you're drinking with your meal. Some drinks contain more sugar than others, and some drinks contain empty calories, such as sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners, which add no nutrients to your diet.

Try iced tea sweetened with a noncaloric sweetener, a diet soft drink, or lemon water. You've saved yourself a lot of calories by not ordering an alcoholic beverage. When you consider the calorie savings, you'll be glad you did.

5. Indulge Sweet Nothings

Many of the chain restaurants now offer a low fat or low carbohydrate dessert selection such as low-carb cheesecake. These are wise choices for the health-conscious eater and still allow you to end the meal on a sweet note. If a healthy dessert option isn't available, try a cup of coffee with skim milk to help satiate your desire for something sweet.

6. Control Portions

Many restaurants are now serving larger quantities of food than in the past. If this is the case, then put aside a portion of your entrée at the beginning of every meal you take home with you. If you remove it from your plate before you start eating, you'll be less tempted to overindulge.

Final Thoughts

Eating healthy while dining out at restaurants doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. You just need a few simple tips for making your meal healthier without sacrificing the taste or atmosphere of what you're ordering. By following these tips, you can make your dining experiences not only healthy but enjoyable.

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