Avoid Unhealthy Restaurant Eating With These 3 Tips
Eating out is a fun way to spend a night out and socialize with others. It's also a way to give yourself a break from meal preparation and clean-up. However, restaurants can also be diet destroyers. Whether you're trying to watch your weight or just improve your health through better eating, it can be tough to make healthy choices at a restaurant, especially when you don't necessarily know what ingredients are in the food. But you don't have to make all your meals yourself or resign yourself to just eating salad when you go out if you want to maintain a healthy diet. Take a look at some tips that will help you avoid unhealthy choices when you eat at a restaurant.
Branch Out into Different Cuisines
You probably already have your favorite restaurants in town. Think about what kinds of foods these restaurants serve. Chances are that at least some of your favorite restaurants serve American cuisine, Italian cuisine, or Chinese cuisine. These are among the most popular cuisine choices, but can also be some of the unhealthiest.
Look for Mediterranean, Vietnamese, Greek, Indian, or Middle Eastern restaurants near you. These cuisines are less Americanized and lean less heavily on carbs and unhealthy fats. Instead, they tend to center around vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. That doesn't mean that the whole menu will be healthy, but choosing one of these cuisines should give you more menu options that are healthy.
Decide What You Want to Eat Before You Get There
It's tough to make good decisions when you're really hungry. By the time you get to the restaurant, wait for a table, and get seated, you might be ready to order the first thing that looks good on the menu, whether or not it's actually good for you. You may not want to take the time to compare ingredients or consider calories.
Luckily, you don't have to make the decision about what to eat while your stomach is growling at you. Look up the menu before you go – preferably when you're not feeling hungry. Take the time to look over all of the options, and look up any dishes that you're not familiar with. That way, you can make a good decision when you're not on the spot, and when you arrive at the restaurant you can put in your order right away.
Leave Your Phone In the Car
The less attention you pay to your meal, the more you end up eating. That's why you can polish off an entire bag of chips while you're watching TV without really realizing what you're doing. If you're texting or surfing the web while you're eating in a restaurant, you'll wind up doing the same thing.
Leave your phone in your car, or put it on airplane mode while you're in the restaurant. Make an effort to really be mindful of your dining experience. Take in the atmosphere, the presentation of the food, the various flavors, and the way those flavors mingle. You'll get more enjoyment out of your meal, and you'll end up eating less. This way, even if you indulge in a dessert or appetizer that's less healthy than what you would normally eat, you won't overdo it and you'll get a fully enjoyable experience from it.
Making healthy choices when you eat out takes a little extra planning and thoughtfulness, but it's well worth it to have a great restaurant experience that doesn't leave you feeling guilty afterward. You can also try out healthy restaurants like Tastybox that will fit easily into your health-conscious diet.