Monday, February 9, 2015

Eating out with your Health in Mind

Eating out with your Health in Mind

We all get those days when we just don’t feel like getting up to make our breakfast, pack a lunch for work or come home to prepare a meal after a long day. Although preparing meals doesn’t have to be a chore and there are lots of healthy and simple ways to satisfy our appetites, it’s ok to treat yourself on occasion (like twice per month) by eating out. In fact, it might be a good idea because eating out could be a better alternative than opening a bag of chips to satisfy your hunger at home. However, just because you may not have the motivation to put together your own healthy meal, doesn’t mean that you should substitute good dietary habits for unhealthy ones.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when ordering at your favourite restaurants:
  • Ask for water, fat-free or low-fat milk, herbal teas, or other drinks without added sugars.

  • Ask for whole wheat or rye bread for sandwiches.

  • Start your meal with a salad packed with veggies.

  • Ask for salad dressing to be served on the side. Then use only as much as you want.

  • Order steamed, grilled, or broiled dishes instead of those that are fried or sautéed.

  • Choose main dishes that include vegetables, such as stir fries, kebobs, or pasta with a tomato sauce.

  • Order foods that do not have creamy sauces or gravies.

  • Add little or no butter to your food.

  • Choose fruits for dessert most often.

  • Choose a “small” or “medium” portion if available. This includes main dishes, side dishes, and beverages.

  • Order from the menu instead of heading for the “all-you-can-eat” buffet.

  • If main portions at a restaurant are larger than you want, try ordering an appetizer or side dish instead or share a main dish with a friend.

  • On long commutes or shopping trips, pack some fresh fruit, cut-up vegetables, low-fat string cheese sticks, or a handful of unsalted nuts to help you avoid stopping for sweet or fatty snacks.