Eating healthy can involve carefully choosing which ingredients go into your meals. But what happens at a restaurant when you have little control? How do you keep your goals of losing weight and eating clean on track?
You don’t have to choose between eating out and eating well on a diet. Follow our five tips the next time you’re ordering off a restaurant menu.
Ask for Omissions and Substitutions
Many chefs can accommodate patrons who require a different ingredient in a dish. For instance, you can request a Grilled Branzino salad without cheese or with the dressing on the side. If an ingredient puzzles you, ask your server for more information.
Look for Key Words and Descriptors on the Menu
If you spot words such as “deep fried” or “battered,” you may want to either avoid the item or ask that the cook prepare the ingredient differently. Broiling and baking fish, for example, produces a leaner result than deep frying because the fish soaks up less oil. In addition, look for cream-based soups, sauces and dressings that can be high-calorie and dense. If you’re not sure how something is cooked, ask your server to determine if it fits your diet.
Go Lean and Clean
The less fuss the cook spends on an item, the fresher and cleaner it usually tastes. For this reason, choose entrees like our miso broiled sea bass with a butter sauce on the side or ginger steamed fish, both available on our dinner menu. You can also opt for a salad with a healthy dressing, fish, vegetables, or any baked or broiled food.
Avoid Heavy Doses of Sodium
Secret sources of sodium can include salted butter, broth-based soups, and salad dressings. You can ask for all sauces and dressings on the side, then use a small amount throughout your meal. While dining, avoid the salt shaker and drink plenty of water to help your body regulate salt absorption.
Order Fruit for Dessert
Tempted to cap off a meal with a little sugar? Most restaurants offer fruit desserts as an alternative to cakes, pies and custards. Opt for a fresh fruit sorbet, a lighter choice that still packs tons of palate-pleasing delight. If you’re eating out with your whole family or a group of friends, order your dessert first. This can help you avoid peer pressure or ordering the same unhealthy dessert like everyone else.