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Tips for Healthy Eating Out

By Sara Butler

There are great things about going out to eat. It’s a great social activity, it’s usually fast, and it all tastes pretty good. But if you’re trying to be more mindful of healthy choices, then eating out is an experience filled with challenges. Even if you endeavor to eat at home most of the time, eating out is going to happen. Here are the tools you need to overcome some of the biggest challenges to eating out.

Don’t Go Hungry

When you’re hungry, your commitment to healthy eating can go right out the window. That’s why it’s a good idea to plan ahead and eat a snack before you go out to eat. It can be tempting to save calories for a special meal out, but that’s a strategy that’s almost guaranteed to lead you straight to overeating.

Don’t get hangry and remember to eat light snacks and regular meals up until it’s time to go. It’s OK to be hungry when you show up as long as it’s not the type of hunger that has you looking at the waiter but seeing a giant chicken drumstick.

Watch the Portions

Restaurants are notorious for huge servings of foods. Some entrees have two or three servings per plate! It’s been shown in studies that when people are given a larger portion, they tend to eat more. Understand that the portion you’re getting at a restaurant is more than you need and you need the tools to help you combat this. You should:

  • Share an entrée
  • Order off the children's menu
  • Have a vegetable side dish instead of something fried
  • Look up nutrition information before you arrive at the restaurant and plan accordingly
  • As soon as your food is delivered, ask for a box and put half of it away

Drinks Add Calories

When eating out, you may opt for an alcoholic beverage or a soda but remember that those things can add a lot of calories to your meal. It’s always a good idea to order water or unsweetened iced tea instead.

Temptation is Everywhere

One of the best things about eating out is that you’re surrounded by temptation. You may be tempted to go with foods that you don’t prepare for yourself because it’s too complicated or expensive and get caught up in the novelty of eating delicious treats without having to do the dishes afterward. Rather than giving in to temptation, consider that you can always come back again, or you can take leftovers home with you to enjoy a second time. Don’t go overboard at the moment.

It's OK to enjoy going out to eat every once in a while. Just keep these tips in mind to keep it healthy!  

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in St. Louis, Mo.

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