Tips to Making Healthy Decisions When Dining Out!

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Mastering Dining Out: Smart Nutrition Choices for Health-Conscious Diners

Nutrition: Mastering Dining Out

nutritionLet’s face it, dining out is a big part of life. At Fitness Retreat, we believe that maintaining a healthy diet while dining out is not only possible but also essential for your overall wellness.

Here are some smart tips to keep in mind next time you’re dining out:

  1. Don’t Skip Meals:

    Avoid the temptation to skip meals earlier in the day to “save up” for the evening. This can lead to overeating when you’re famished. Instead, stick to your regular eating schedule to avoid overindulging.

  2. Look for Key Words

    : Scan the menu for terms like “roasted”, “grilled”, “poached”, or “steamed”. These indicate healthier cooking methods with less added fat and calories. Don’t hesitate to ask your server for details on how the food is prepared and make substitutions as needed.

  3. Avoid Unhealthy Options: Steer clear of items that are “fried”, “smothered”, “sautéed”, or “covered”, as these are usually higher in calories and less nutritious.
  4. Enjoy the Experience: Take your time, eat slowly, and savor the social aspect of dining out. Eating slowly allows your brain to register fullness, helping you consume fewer calories and aiding digestion.
  5. Balance Your Plate: Aim for a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in your meal. Opt for dishes that include lean proteins, whole grains, and plenty of vegetables to create a balanced and satisfying meal.
  6. Dressings and Sauces on the Side: Ask for dressings and sauces to be served on the side so you can control the amount you use. A little goes a long way, and this simple adjustment can save you unnecessary calories.
  7. Practice Portion Control: Restaurant portions are often larger than necessary. Consider taking home half of your meal or ask for a takeout box when your food arrives to avoid overeating. Portion control is key to managing calorie intake.
  8. Moderation is Key: If you dine out regularly, allow yourself one indulgence, such as a glass of wine or a small dessert. Remember, moderation is key to enjoying treats without derailing your progress.

On average, Americans eat over 200 meals away from home each year. By following these smart tips, you can make healthier choices while dining out and enjoy restaurant food without compromising your nutrition goals. Making small changes over time can lead to significant improvements in your overall health and well-being.

Karen Sherwood, NC, HHP

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