If you spent most of the past year cooking at home or ordering in, you might be chomping at the bit to return to restaurant dining. As fun as this can be, eating out can also pose nutritional challenges. If you have goals you want to reach, the decisions you make when you dine out can help or hinder your progress. With that in mind, today we’re sharing some of our top tips for making healthier choices when eating out.
Making Healthier Choices When Dining Out
Here are four strategies to help you make decisions at restaurants that leave you feeling like your best, healthiest self.
The internet is a wonderful thing, and it can be used to browse a restaurant menu from almost anywhere. Before you visit a restaurant, take a look at the menu online. In addition to all of your options, it will often also include nutritional information. You can use this information to choose options that are in line with your macros or any other nutritional tracking strategies you use. Do your best to look for items that are high in protein. These help keep you full longer!
It’s not all about food
Enjoying a few sodas or alcoholic beverages adds up very quickly in the calorie department. If calories are something you’re trying to watch, the best beverage choice is good old fashioned water. This frees you up to eat more of the foods you enjoy without drinking all of your calories. If you fill up on sugary drinks before your meal comes, you could surpass your calorie limit before a bite of food even hits your lips!
Consider portion sizes
Restaurant portions are known for being substantial. Often, the restaurant version of a meal you would make at home is easily twice the size of when you prepare it for yourself. Keep this in mind when ordering, and plan to only eat half or a third of the meal. You can even ask for a box alongside your meal so you can portion it out before you dig in.
Safer side dishes
If you’re committed to making healthier choices when eating out, something else to keep in mind is the side dish (or dishes) you order. Rather than a side of mashed potatoes, or fries with your burger, what about a side of steamed vegetables or a salad instead? Let the main dish be the star of the show. Enjoy the main course without filling up on the side dishes!
Remember: it’s okay to indulge and enjoy your favorite foods! But if you have big goals you’re trying to reach or you regularly dine out, it’s important to make healthier choices at restaurants so you can make the progress you hope for.
Get More Help with Making Healthier Choices When Eating Out or Cooking at Home
Whether you’re eating at home or the diner down the street, the right support and guidance can make all the difference in helping you reach your health and wellness goals. Did you know Xtend Fitness offers online fitness and nutrition coaching? With our nutritional guidance, you can feel empowered when you’re ordering at a restaurant or cooking in your own kitchen. Contact us today to get started!