Restaurant Dining for the Health Conscious
by: Arnel Ricafranca
Here's food for thought! Did you know the average restaurant
meal has over 1,000 calories? That's enough to blow any
healthy eating plan. Fortunately, by following a few simple
guidelines, you can dine out without having to sacrifice
good taste and nutrition.
1. Avoid ordering an appetizer. It's a little known fact
that some appetizers have more calories and fat than the
main course. Plus, many appetizers are fried and served
with heavy sauces which will add to your intake of saturated
fat as well as trans fats and calories. It's not a healthy
way to start your meal.
2. Say "yes" to salad. Salad is a healthy eater's
best friend. Not only will it fill you up so you'll consume
fewer calories overall, but it will also give you a hefty
dose of antioxidants which are heart healthy. Be sure
to ask your waitress to hold the croutons and cheese which
will further reduce your caloric load. Also, choose your
dressing wisely. Avoid cream based dressings and go for
the vinegar based ones. You also have the option of using
vinegar and olive oil which is heart healthy.
3. Make the right entree selection. Go for broiled and
grilled rather than fried. Not only will you save calories
and fat grams, you'll also avoid trans fats which are
so prevalent in fried foods. Instead, consider asking
for a doubles order of vegetables with your entree. Very
few Americans are getting the 7-9 servings of fruits and
vegetables recommended for optimal health. Plus, by avoiding
the starch, you'll be reducing your caloric and carbohydrate
load. Also, stick to tomato based sauces rather than cream
based and you'll enjoy a considerable calorie savings.
Lastly, ask for the sauce to be served in a separate dish
on the side so you can control the amount you eat.
4. Think about what you're drinking with your meal. By
not ordering an alcoholic beverage, you've saved yourself
a considerable number of calories. Try sipping iced tea
sweetened with a noncaloric sweetener, a diet soft drink,
or water with lemon. You'll be glad you did when you consider
the calorie savings.
5. Indulge your sweet tooth wisely. Many of the chain
restaurants now offer a low fat or low carbohydrate dessert
selection such as a low carb cheesecake. These are wise
choices for the health conscious eater and still allow
you to end the meal on a sweet note. If a healthy dessert
option isn't available, try a cup of coffee with skim
milk to help satiate your desire for something sweet.
6. Learn to control your portions. Many restaurants are
serving larger quantities of food than in the past. If
this is the case, put aside a portion of your entree at
the beginning of the meal to take home with you. If you
remove it from your plate before you start eating, you'll
be less tempted to overindulge.
By following these steps, you can make your dining experiences
not only healthy, but enjoyable. Your heart will thank
About The Author
Founder of Fitness VIP