Are you one of those who regularly follow a healthy meal plan and then go to restaurants on an occasion or a weekend and find yourself in a fix as to what to eat and what to not eat? There are lot of situations where you end up going to a restaurant for a meal. It can be an occasion to celebrate, while traveling for work, for socializing or just for fun.

Eating out can be a challenge for people who are trying to get fit and healthy but it is definitely not impossible. Having your meal in a restaurant can be healthy and nutritious if you plan in advance and choose the right dish from the menu.

So how can you eat better when you eat out? Here we are to help you make the right kind of choices by choosing wisely.

  • Before you head to the restaurant, check their menu online to find out what healthy options they offer. The nutritional value of meals are written in the menu at times too. With the menus available online, it is easy to choose a restaurant and your healthy meal. It can help you to control your indulgence and lessen the chances of ordering an unhealthy item from the menu.
  • Avoid going to the restaurants which serve buffets. Keeping a check on the portion size can be a fail when you have so many options with unlimited quantities to choose from. If there are no options other than going for a buffet, then pick for a smaller plate, serve smaller portions, and choose healthier options. Avoid trying everything in the buffet. Another idea is to pick a regular plate and fill the half with vegetables/ salads so that you end up eating more of vegetables and less of the other items.
  • There are chances that the menus may have some signs or keywords to indicate healthy food items. Check for those signs and order out of those options.
  • Have a healthy snack like fruit or some nuts and dry fruits before you reach the restaurant. If you reach the restaurant when your hunger is at peak, then you may end up ordering an unhealthy dish or you may eat too much.
  • Choose foods that are grilled, steamed, stir-fried, roasted or baked. They are better choices than foods with terms like creamy, fried, breaded and cheesy.
  • Avoid ordering soft drinks or sugary drinks like mocktails or ice teas as they are loaded with calories and sugar. Opt for plain water or water with lemon slices or fruit juice (without sugar).
  • Some restaurants keep nibbles like fryums, fried papad or a bread basket with butter on the table. Request them to remove it from the table as those nibbles may tempt you.
  • Order a clear soup or a salad instead of the appetizer. Salads or soups are nutritious, filling and give you satiety. Having a soup or salad will reduce your intake of the main course.
  • There are restaurants where the server or the chef will hear you out if you request them to make your meals healthy. You can request them to cook in a healthier way like grilling, steaming or baking and to add less salt, less oil to your food.
  • You can request the server to pack half portion of your food if the meal portion is large. You can share it with another person too. It helps in keeping a watch on your portion size.
  • If you prefer to eat nonveg, choose chicken or seafood dishes rather than opting for beef, pork or lamb.
  • If you really feel like having a dessert, opt for a fruit salad without any toppings or ice cream.
  • Limiting alcohol intake is a good idea. One of the options is to have a small glass of wine instead of alcohol or a cocktail.

It takes some planning to eat healthy when eating out. Tasty and healthy choices can be found while eating out if you know what is right and best for you. So go ahead, make the right choice and enjoy the healthy and nutritious meal!