It can feel like a minefield of high-fat, high-calorie, super-salty, sugar-laden choices at some restaurants, but whether you’re trying to lose weight or just maintain a healthy diet, you can eat healthy when dining out, almost anywhere, if you make the right choices.
How to Make Healthier Choices at Restaurants
Here are some tips to help make your dining-out experience both tasty and good for you:
- Ask for water, fat-free or low-fat milk, unsweetened tea, or other drinks without added sugars.
- Choose a side salad to start, instead of an appetizer. Ask for salad dressing on the side, so you can choose the right amount to add.
- Select a main dishes that is packed with vegetables. Consider stir fries, kabobs, or pasta with tomato sauce.
- Opt for dishes that are steamed, grilled, or broiled, instead of fried or sautéed.
- Ask for it your way. Most restaurants will be happy to accommodate special preparation requests.
- Beware of the low-carb options. Low-carb doesn’t mean low-cal.
- Restaurants often serve two to three times more than what food labels list as a serving. Solve this by asking for half your meal to be boxed in a to-go container or splitting it with a friend.
- Check the menu before you leave home. You can decide what to order.
- Avoid foods that have a description including words like “creamy,” “breaded,” “crisp,” “sauced,” or “stuffed.” These could potentially be loaded with saturated fats. Other words to watch out for include “buttery,” “sautéed,” “pan-fried,” “au gratin,” “Thermidor,” “Newburg,” “Parmesan,” “cheese sauce,” “scalloped,” “au lait,” “à la mode,” or “au fromage” (with milk, ice cream, or cheese).
- Skip fancy drinks. Opt for a glass of wine, a light beer, vodka and tonic, or a simple martini.
- Drink water throughout the meal. It slows you down, helps you enjoy the food more, and sends a message to your brain that you’re becoming full—often before your plate is empty.
- Skip dessert. You can always enjoy some sorbet or a piece of chocolate at home. (Although, our baklava might be worth splurging on. ????)
Paymon’s Is Here for Your Health Food Journey
At Paymon’s, the healthy options abound! Check out our menu to find all the delicious choices you have while still maintaining your healthy lifestyle.