Menu Master

Simple Tips for Fitting Dining Out into Your Healthy Eating Plan

Always remember to…

  • Watch portion sizes– Restaurant servings are often portioned to serve two or more. Try one of these strategies: 1) split an entrée with someone else, 2) order two appetizers for dinner (a salad and soup), 3) order from the kids menu at a fast food restaurant, 4) ask for a box when you receive your food so you can save half your meal to take home for another day.
  • Drink water! Soda and juice can add hundreds of empty calories to your meal.  Opt for water, seltzer, or unsweetened ice tea.
  • Speak up! Many dishes can be healthy, but due to preparation methods, they become a calorie trap.  Don’t be afraid to ask for your vegetables without sauce, for olive oil and vinegar on your salad or dressing on the side, and for the fried or butter coated food to be broiled or steamed instead.
  • “Undress” the dish– Watch for calorie-laden dressings and sauces.  Always ask for dressing on the side, and instead of pouring dressing over salad, dip your fork into a dash of dressing before spearing your next bite of salad.  Condiments can also be ordered on the side so that you can properly portion them.
  • Eat mindfully– Take the time to fully enjoy your food with all of your senses.  Observe the presentation, take in the aromas, and eat small bites to allow yourself to fully savor each morsel.  Mindful eating allows you to give your brain time to tell your stomach you are full, so that you do not overeat.
  • Watch for sodium– Many restaurant meals contain excessive amounts of sodium, ask that no salt be added to your food when cooking.  If it is too bland when it reaches your table, add a dash on your own.  Avoid the breadbasket, as its contents can be packed with sodium. Be careful with the condiments (mustard, ketchup, etc…) as they can also be hidden sources of extra sodium.
  • Know the lingo-It is important to look out for certain words on menus that indicate the fat content of particular dishes.  Avoid menu items described as: breaded, battered, in cream sauce, au gratin, pan-fried, deep-fried, crispy, scalloped, basted, batter-dipped, or Alfredo.

If you fallow these simple tips you will be on the way to enjoying

a healthy and delicious meal out.


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