Are you trying to live a healthy lifestyle but finding yourself stuck eating out again because of your busy schedule? You’re not alone! A lot of people, especially those with children in sports and other afterschool activities, find it much easier to grab a fast food meal or go to a sit down restaurant where they don’t have to cook the food. There’s a million things we have to do each day, so sometimes cooking a healthy dinner just isn’t in the cards. There’s good news though! Eating out doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Here are some of the best ways to cut calories and make smarter choices!
1. Portion Control
Portion control is important to ensure you aren’t eating too many calories. If you’re ordering a full size meal, ask the waiter to bring you a box before you begin eating. Put half of the meal into the box and only eat what’s left on the plate. This will help you not be tempted to eat the entire meal, and, since you can eat the leftovers tomorrow, you’re also getting two meals for the price of one! If you like smaller meals, a good option would be to order an appetizer! They’re usually a much smaller portion and less expensive.
2. Go for Grilled
Both fast food and sit-down restaurants have made it a little easier to eat healthy when going out! Most of them now offer healthy sides and grilled meats that are much better for you. At any restaurant, opt for the grilled or roasted option instead of the fried. It’s more nutritious and also has fewer calories.
3. Kid’s Meal
Love those McDonald’s chicken nuggets or those Arby’s curly fries? You can still get them, but order them as a kid’s meal instead. This way, you can get the food you desire, but in a much smaller portion!
4. Sharing is Caring
If you’re going out with the family, share everything you can! Get one appetizer to split between everyone, or, if you and someone else can agree on the same meal, share an entree! If you really have your eye on dessert, order one and have the whole table split it. This is a much healthier option than eating full portions of everything!
5. Substitute a Side
Does your meal come with french fries? Ask for a baked potato, a side salad, or the seasonal vegetable instead. At a fast food restaurant, they usually offer parfaits, apples, or some other type of healthier option as well.
6. Think Ahead
If you know you are going to be eating out later, try and eat smaller meals throughout the day. By planning ahead you can make sure you are getting your daily values of important vitamins and can also watch your calories.