8 Winning Dining Out Tips
By Rachel Brown, RD LDN
Eating out can be such a pleasure. In fact, the average American eats out at least 5 times per week. But is eating out good for your health? Of course, the best way to ensure that you know exactly what you are eating and how many calories, protein and carbohydrates you’re ingesting is by preparing your food at home.
But there are occasions when you are out of town or unable to cook at home where you may find it necessary to go out to eat.
Be prepared beforehand by using these tips to order smart:
1. Request the waiter not to bring bread or chips to the table.
2. Set water aside and do not sip within 30 minutes of eating your meal.
3. Focus on protein first. Make your menu selection by choosing a non-breaded, grilled or baked variety of lean protein, either chicken, turkey, fish, seafood or tofu.
4. Be assertive when ordering. Ask how the dish is prepared. Tell your waitperson that you do not want butter or oils added. Request that your salad dressing be put on the side.
5. Eat your meal in this order: protein first, then your side salad or steamed low carbohydrate vegetable.
6. Be mindful of what you are putting in your body. - Enjoy each bite and savor the flavors.
7. Order a cup of hot decaf tea or decaf coffee for dessert if others at your table choose to eat dessert.
8. Chew slowly and enjoy the conversation and company at your table!
Remember…You have the tools and the knowledge to eat responsibly at restaurants. Keep these tips in mind and you can eat healthy no matter where you are!