Think back to January 1st and all of the ambitious New Year’s resolutions you made when you promised yourself to live a healthier 2017. With summer just around the corner it is a great time to find those forgotten or difficult resolutions and give them one more shot! One temptation that may be prohibiting you from fulfilling those healthy resolutions are the abundance of irresistible fast foods and restaurants everywhere you turn. With a plethora of options to choose from, this can be overwhelming!
Recent studies have shown Americans spend more money eating out than buying groceries to cook meals at home.1 People today are busy and cannot always find the time to prepare all their meals. During those busy days most people are looking for convenience and easy, so restaurants and fast food chains become appealing. It can be easy to become lost in the long menus and specials, so here are some tips to help you make healthy decisions at restaurants!
Tips on Eating Out!
Choose a restaurant beforehand and take a look at the menu to narrow down the options. This can eliminate the sensory overload we all experience, and have given into, even if our order was not the healthiest!
- If the nutrition information is provided for the menu items, take a look at it. It is not required for all restaurants to provide this information, but gazing at it can help since most of us tend to underestimate the calories, fat, and sodium found in food.1
- Ask the wait staff about the size of the portions. It is hard to stop eating, even if you are full, if there is still food on the plate.1 If the portion seems to be large, see if someone in your party is willing to split.
- Order the appetizer or salad and then wait to order the rest of the meal. You may be full after this and not need the extra food of an entree, since appetizers can be huge! Plus, ordering more food is no problem at restaurants.
- Everyone loves some dessert after a meal! Desserts at restaurants can be rich and heavy, so order dessert for the table to split.2
- With this beautiful spring weather, instead of the traditional eating out try a picnic with items from a local farmer’s market!
- “Smart strategies for healthy eating out: with Americans spending more than ever at restaurants, here’s how to make sure you don’t pay with your health.” Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter. September 2015. Accessed February 8, 2017.
- Yes, it’s possible to dine out and eat a healthful meal. Here’s how. Washington Post. January 12, 2017. Accessed February 7, 2017.