Dining Out with Friends: Sticking to Your Diet Plan
If you are a health buff, dining out may cause you to be overly concerned or disappointed. The problem is that serving portions are often big in those places and you can eat a lot more than usual. You might just end up eating all the calories you don’t need, because you’ll never know what goes into the food.
Don’t worry too much and get stressed about these situations. Having healthy eating habits doesn’t mean you need to exclude yourself and avoid going out with friends to dinner. You can still enjoy their company, and dine healthy at the same time, here’s how.
You can inspect their menu first before going out to any place. This way, you know what type of food the place serves, especially if it will be your first time to dine there. You will discover that some restaurants have calorie counts next to an item on the menu – this is useful information. Others will have a section marked ‘healthy’ or ‘light’ while some have a heart symbol to indicate that this dish is good for the heart. This helps you avoid those dishes that are calorie-rich, with cheesy and creamy sauces.
When in doubt or if the menu doesn’t say anything other than the name of the dish, ask the waiter what the ingredients are or how the dish is prepared. Is it baked or fried, or is there additional ingredients like oils or creams in the recipe? You don’t end up guessing how healthy a dish is because of the information you already know.
A side dish of potatoes or fries often goes along with your order. But if you order salad to replace the fries when you order, oftentimes your order gets accommodated. If you can’t avoid the potatoes, just make sure you avoid the sour cream.
Most of the time, if you ask nicely, restaurants will have no problem adjusting to your requests. If you see a certain dish that you would love to have, for example, but it’s sauce is rich in cream or cheese, you can request yours to be without the cream or cheese. Or you can ask them to give you a separate side dish for the sauce, so you can put just a little of it on your food as you wish. But it would be better for you to always ask for dressings and sauces on a separate side dish, as restaurants tend to splash them plenty on green salads.
Most of the time, starters and desserts can be done away with. However, if you want to indulge a bit, go for the starter instead of the dessert, and look for fresh items. A soup that is not cream-based would be a good option for you. Salads without bacon, cheese, or rich and creamy dressings should be good.
If you will have wine, a glass is enough.