When people think of the perfect way to celebrate an occasion or spend time with family and friends, going out to a nice restaurant seems like a great option. While the idea of eating out may stress out many of those who are concerned with weight management or who have other health issues, it is possible to have a great time and eat healthy and safely. Read below for a few suggestions to make any dining experience enjoyable for both your mind and your body!
Before going to the restaurant:
Eat a healthy snack before to avoid arriving to the restaurant very hungry. Limit yourself from eating appetizers which may contribute to eating too many calories.
Limit consumption of alcohol by skipping the cocktail hour. Excess consumption of alcohol adds excess calories to your meal.
Call the restaurant and make sure that foods are prepared fresh and have not been sitting out for hours in order to prevent foodborne illnesses.
Order regular portion sizes or share a meal with someone and have half an entreé. You can also ask for half of an entree to be wrapped to go beforehand so that you can really control the portions.
Remove or substitute certain ingredients and items such as guacamole and sour cream which tend to be high in fat due to the creamy nature.
Ask to grill or steam foods instead of eating them fried.
Add vegetables or fruits whenever possible as a side instead of items like fries.
Ask the waiter for a menu with nutritional facts (or look at an online menu) so that you can choose a menu item that fits within your calorie goals.
While waiting for your main meal, limit the amount of appetizers you consume. Ask your waiter to not bring out chips or bread to avoid temptation.
Try to avoid dessert because they tend to be extra large portions, or share with a friend.
Limit alcohol because it is high in calories and has no nutritional value.
Foods to Avoid: These tips are for those with weaker immune system such as children, elderly, pregnant women, and those with any health conditions. The following can give rise to foodborne illnesses so it is beneficial to avoid them.
Unwashed fresh fruit and vegetables, or salads that may have been sitting out for a while if at a buffet
Raw sprouts, such as alfalfa sprouts
Raw or undercooked meat
Cold deli lunch meat (cold cuts)
Raw or undercooked shellfish, such as oysters.
Smoked, raw, or undercooked fish. Mercury content may be high in fish as well.
Unpasteurized or raw beverages
Foods made from unpasteurized milk (Brie, Camembert, feta, goat cheese)
Raw, unpasteurized, or undercooked eggs or foods made with these kind of eggs (e.i. cookie dough)
Bruised or damaged fruits/vegetables