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Making Healthier Restaurant Selections

By Brandi Goodman 

People on a diet often fear they won't be able to go to restaurants. Far too many choices are loaded with calories, sugar, and sodium that isn't needed. There are still plenty of ways to make healthier restaurant selections that won't tip the scale. You can choose from the healthier menu options and still enjoy a night out. 

Pick an Appetizer

Instead of choosing a full meal, you could pick an appetizer instead. It will cut down on costs and calories. Just be sure you aren't choosing a fattening, breaded option such as onion rings, mozzarella sticks, or something similar. If there's nothing that fits, opt for the chips and salsa. If that isn't available, skip the appetizer option.

Ask for Changes

No matter what you're choosing, you can always ask for changes. You don't have to get the meal as is. Ask if you can skip a certain ingredient, get a burger without the bun, or have sauce on the side instead of on the sandwich. Changes like this can make a big difference in what you're eating. 

Only Eat Half

If you do choose a full meal, be sure to only eat half while you're at the restaurant. Start by setting half of the meal to the side and already plan beforehand to just stick with eating half of what's on the plate. You can eat the other portion for lunch the next day, or offer it to someone else if you don't like leftovers. 

Choose the Salad

Most restaurants will have a salad available. Choose this if nothing else on the menu meets your health criteria. Just be sure you're getting the dressing on the side or choosing a light version instead of full-fat ranch or something similar. A light vinaigrette is a good choice if they have it. 

Drink Water

It's tempting to get a soda pop or alcoholic beverage to go with your meal. However, these add sugar and calories to the mix. Drink water only when you're at a restaurant (or at home). It's a healthier alternative that won't add any calories to your day. 

You can always find something diet-friendly at a restaurant. Even if you opt for a fully fattening meal that you shouldn't have, just eat half so you aren't overindulging completely. The same should apply whether you're sitting down in-person or ordering online and getting your food delivered. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Evans, Ga.

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