Tips and Strategies for Eating at a Restaurant!

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October 10, 2012 by thehealthyheartcenter

Eating out is a fun excursion the entire family can enjoy!  However, many restaurant menus are chock full of high caloric fatty foods.  The following few tips can help you have a successful and satisfying meal while enjoying time with your family.

  1. Check out the menu before you leave.  Many restaurants have a website with the menu items and nutritional facts.  Look for a meal that contains lean protein, plenty of fruits or veggies, whole grain and little added fat!
  2. Avoid drinking your calories.  Avoid soda pop, juice (that isn’t 100% fruit juice) and milkshakes while out.  Try water with lemon, seltzer water- who doesn’t love carbonation?!, unsweetened tea or skim milk.
  3. Ask about substitutions.   Whole wheat vs white bread, veggie vs ground beef burger, baked potato vs French fries, side salad vs cole slaw, or baked vs fried meats.  Most restaurants are happy to accommodate your request.
  4. Watch the portion size.  Ask for a half or lunch size portion; which is usually much smaller than the entre size.  Request the server wrap up half your meal “to-go” prior to serving you the other half.  Order an appetizer for your entre.
  5. Request items are served on the side.  Salad dressing, mayonnaise, ketchup, guacamole, sour cream and cheese are added in large quantities in a restaurant-usually two to three servings.  Ask your server to put these items on the side and then add your desired amount.  Keep in mind that a computer mouse is ½ cup, a ping pong ball is 2 tablespoons, and your thumb is about 1 tablespoon.

What’s your favorite healthy item to order at a restaurant?

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Authors

Dr. Wali Gauvin

Kendra Fink RD CPT

Jessica Griffin: Intern

Julianna Yi: Intern

Marielle Mangano: Intern

Jackie Page: Intern

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