Dining out does not have to be a calorie blowout. Swap empty foods for filling ones, or just watch those portions. You can still go out and enjoy!
1- Small and green doesn’t always mean “lean”.
Appetizers are, essentially, indulgent treats to entice the diner to try something new. They are also served to feed at least two people. You never go “small” by ordering an appetizer as your entree.
The same goes with salads. Check out whether the toppings of that exotic, entree salad would not be the equivalent of a small, full menu plate. Add to that salad dressing, your drink, and other peripherals such as croutons and crackers. Are you really picking the healthier option?
2. Protein is your friend
A good cut of any meat is better than indulgent starters. Try out a protein-based meal, and feel the difference. Check out Discountrues website for coupons and promo codes for different kinds of meat and juicy steaks. These are more filling than a bowl of chips or fries.
3. Peek at the soups
You can always indulge on soup, as long as this is your primary indulgence, followed by a protein-based meal or a salad with “topping control”. Restaurants are a bit skimpy on their soup bowls, so you never really overeat. Yet, you get a taste of something somewhat indulgent without paying heavily for it.
4. Do not choose two starches in one same meal
Stick to one starch-based side dish or entree at a time. For example, do not order a baked potato and rice in one same meal. It is carbo-overload. You can, instead, get two greens or two proteins at no cost to your waistline.
5. Before your touch those yeast rolls
Browse through the menu and find an “a la carte” item, or a side dish, that you can enjoy prior to your meal. There are several items that can be brought to you fairly quick to swap those rolls for something better. Examples are: Celery and carrot sticks with dip (control the dip), grilled asparagus, or a bowl of steamed veggies with hot sauce.
6. Split your dessert
We all have heard about the calorie monsters that restaurant desserts can be. Order an orange liqueur, a diet Italian soda, a sherbet, or simply split that monster dessert into three people, or more.
7. Watch your alcohol
Alcohol often lets you cut lose and forget your health commitments. Also, some drinks can be quite highly caloric and unhealthy as well. Stick to red wine, spritzers, or light beer, if you must have alcohol.
As you can see, swapping for more filling options is key. They key is not to let an indulgence become “too much” in terms of portion control or size. There will always be an option for you, so do not deny yourself a chance to enjoy eating out with family and friends.