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The Worst Nutrition Mistakes You Make at Restaurants

By Sara Butler

Restaurants cannot be avoided. In fact, they're often a hub of a person's social life since it's where you tend to meet up with friends and families to touch base or celebrate something special. They're also an integral part of traveling since trying new foods when you go to new places is part of what makes vacations so great.

Of course, trying to stay healthy while eating out at restaurants can be a challenge. You have no control over the ingredients used in foods at restaurants and that can cause you to go overboard on sugar, salt, preservatives, and calories -- among other things. The good news is that you don't need to avoid restaurants like the plague, you simply need to recognize how to take control of the experience by making better choices. Here are a few common mistakes you should try to avoid when eating out.

Saving Up Calories

If you know you're going out to dinner with friends, then don't skip other meals thinking you can go buck wild at dinner. Remember, every single thing you eat contributes to the day's nutrition, so starving and then stuffing yourself can have some health consequences.

Instead of skipping other meals during the day, simply choose a light lunch that is still filling. So, for example, if you're going to a really awesome steak place you've heard about, then perhaps have a simple spinach salad for lunch with a hard boiled egg. That way you can get a variety of different foods in your day while keeping calories under control.

Don't Arrive Starving

To piggyback on the first point, have a quick snack before arriving at the restaurant. If you arrive too hungry, then your eyes may be bigger than your stomach. This can cause you to make some poor decisions when choosing what you're going to eat and perhaps even going for higher calorie options than what you would have chosen previously.

Have a quick, filling snack such as an apple or a handful of nuts before dinner to help you keep your stomach from grumbling and your hungry brain from making poor nutritional choices.

Think About Cooking Methods

It's important to think about how food is prepared when you eat out. Food that is fried is popular in restaurants because it's cheap, but it also destroys nutrients and adds a lot of fat. So think about avoiding the fried foods and opt instead for grilled or baked items.

Go out to eat and have fun with friends and family, but keep it healthy by following these easy tips!

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

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