GFGL FOOD BLOG: Dining Out Survival Guide

My friend and I were talking the other day about how much we go out to eat, and for convenience and sometimes time restraints, it definitely is easier to let someone else do the cooking for you. BUT, eating out shouldn’t be a free pass to eat unhealthily. I know I’m guilty of this faux pas. Whenever I go out to eat I consider it a “cheat meal” and promise myself that for the rest of the week I will eat healthy foods at home. Let’s be honest here, it doesn’t usually go that way. You eat out and pick something you feel guilty about later and then figure you should probably just eat unhealthy the rest of the day and start “fresh” tomorrow. Well I’m here to remind you, and myself, that you don’t have to leave a restaurant overly stuffed and feeling guilty. Here are some tips for eating out:

  1. Split it up: when you order your meal, ask the waiter to put half of it into a to-go container so you will have less on your plate to devour and still have another meal to bring home with you for another time.
  2. Don’t waste calories on beverages: Try to stick with water with a lemon or lime. With the massive amounts of calories built into restaurant meals, there is no need to pack in even more with a drink.
  3. Backside friendly sides: Skip the french fries and just order them occasionally if you must have your fries fix. Instead, try to order healthier sides like steamed veggies or a baked potato (without butter). A side salad is always a good option as well.
  4. Dressing Dipping: If you decide to go healthy and order a salad as an entrée, beware, sometimes salads have more calories than the burger you really had your eyes glued on. A good way to avoid excess fat and calories is to order your salad dressing on the side and just dip your fork in before using your fork in the salad. Also, creamy dressings are not your friend, unless they are fat-free of course. Clear dressings like an Italian or balsamic are always the better choice.
  5. Share the Wealth: If you’re not starving, try splitting an entrée with a friend.
  6. Bread: Wheat bread is much better for you than white, so even if you’re not given the option, ask the waiter if it’s possible to make the substitute.
  7. Rolls of Death: Trust me, I know how hard it is to resist the rolls and dipping oil or buttered breadsticks that are brought to the table before you order, so take away the temptation all together and tell the waiter not to bring any over! If other people at your table want to indulge and you can’t help yourself, repeat with me, “it’s ok”. Just eat ONE.

Stay happy & healthy

-Erinn

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