Monday, August 10, 2015

Can You Eat Out And Be Healthy?

by Kate Collins

A bunch of girlfriends and I dined out this past week and all of us are watching our diets. So the topic of conversation centered around how to order from a menu and still eat healthy. Is that possible?

We came up with several ways, which are listed below. At the bottom, I'd like your feedback on how you like to eat healthy when dining out.

1.  Hold the bread! Tell the waitress ahead of time not to bring the bread basket. If it's not there, you won't be tempted.

2. Hold the salad dressing!  Order it on the side. And order a vinaigrette or just oil and vinegar, and pass on the fat laden creamy dressings.

3. Hold the fried food!  Order broiled meat instead.

4. Hold the potatoes!  Get an extra helping of the vegetable du jour and pass on starchy potatoes.

5. Hold the entree!  Order a dinner salad instead. They are usually huge, and you can get chicken or steak if you want the protein.

6. Hold the dessert!  Are you really hungry? Or is it the sight of all those luscious, fat-laden desserts they bring on trays that is enticing you?  If you must eat something sweet, chose a fruit sorbet, or just get coffee instead.

My friends and I proved that it was not difficult to order a satisfying yet healthy meal when dining out. The main thing was that we were together, laughing and talking. Eating was secondary.

Now it's your turn. What do you do to eat healthy when dining out?




20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm not as healthy or disciplined as you are but I always ask for a box to be brought with the entrée and divide the meat and potato first. I ask for the dressing on the side with the little cup only containing 1/2 of the normal amount. Then I dip my fork in the dressing first and spear the salad. You can also do this if you are getting a creamy pasta. Still get a flavor but very light. I can't drink coffee or tea so get water, sometimes both cold and hot or two water glasses, especially if the glasses are small and mostly full of ice. Cordella

Sheryl Hagan-Booth said...

I always get fruit as my side instead of fries or something cooked with tons of butter in it. A lot of places offer fruit year round now. I also opt for salads but I do NOT hold the dressing. I love the taste. I don't get dessert so I am okay. ;) Getting water also helps with digestion of whatever food you get. Add lemon or fruit to it if you don't like it "plain."

Diane LaBrie Leverson said...

I drink a lot of water but I usually order whatever I want. Yes, I'm not thin. LOL I do bring home half of the meal. Some places give you way too much food anyway and this is a great idea. Most of my friends are elderly, as am I and this is what most of them do too.

Kate Collins said...

Those are great tips, Cordella! I especially like having the waiter bring a To Go box at the beginning to pack up half the meal. That takes away temptation. Thanks!

Kate Collins said...

Drinking a lot of water as you go also diminishes appetite. Another good suggestion. Thanks, Diane.

Kate Collins said...

Great tip, Sheryl. Skip the fries and have fruit or a salad instead. And if your spouse/friend orders fries, you can always nip one or two.

Kate Collins said...

Oops. I posted my reply to you below.

mary kennedy said...

These are all fantastic suggestions. It's hard to ask the server "not" to bring the bread, rolls, bread sticks, whatever, but "out of sight, out of mind." It's so easy just to nibble away at bread and not even notice how much we've eaten. I love all the suggestions, and "hold the dessert" is really smart. A nice cup of coffee or tea will do the trick. (or so I tell myself.) Sometimes I even convince myself!

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Terrific suggestion, Kate! As we will be traveling a bit, I need to be thinking this way. Thank you. Hugs. MJ

SandyG265 said...

My boyfriend and I often share a meal. A half a sub sandwich makes a meal for two of us. also if I get something like a burger I do it someplace where I can get a baked potato or vegetable instead of fries. Our other favorite healthy meal is sushi.

Lynn Delage said...

Since I rarely eat out I usually get something I haven't had in a while like fried catfish. I know I could get it baked but I do that at home. I always end up taking half of it home because the helping you get is always more than I can eat at one meal.

Molly MacRae said...

Sharing a meal is a great way to go, Sandy. My husband and I often do that and my sisters and I almost always do. When my husband and I split, he has two thirds of whatever and I have one third. It works out perfectly. If splitting isn't an option, I take half home for a nice lunch the next day.

Kate Collins said...

Me, too, Mary. If I have a cup of decaf with a bit of sugar, it's almost a dessert!

Kate Collins said...

Traveling is the worst! My sympathies, MJ. At least I hope it's someplace fun with GREAT food!

Kate Collins said...

I always take half home, too, Lynn. There's usually way too much for one healthy serving. And that cuts the cost in half, too!

Sally R said...

I follow a lot of the suggestions above, but I also check out the menu before I go. That way I can make some healthier decisions when not being tempted by the next table or the scents in the restaurant.

Oddly I have found that at Mexican restaurants, if I go with the girlfriends, we can have the chips and be satisfied with a couple. If I go with my husband, I get pulled in to eating chips as quickly as he does.

Elaine Klingbeil said...

We really don't eat out very often. There were a few years when we had to eat out a lot because we traveled for my husband's job. We tended to share an appetizer for a meal or order a meal and have the leftovers the next night. I packed oatmeal for breakfasts. Eating out just is not so fun after those years...

Kate Collins said...

It's true, Sally! We tend to mimic the eating pattern of who we're with. If someone pushes away the bread with a comment about how fattening it is, others will take a pass, too. Good comment!

Kate Collins said...

Did you ever think you'd be saying that? LOL. It's true. After a long vacation, I can't wait to get home and have some good ol' home cooking.

Aurian said...

Lol no, eating out is healthier than cooking myself, as I use a lot of butter and salt. And when I am eating out, I want to treat myself to a full three course dinner. Plus, the standard vegetables served in a restaurant, are those I really dislike, so I eat my vegetables at home, and order things I would not cook myself.