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Thread: Eating out tips

  1. #1

    Eating out tips

    Tips for Eating Healthy when Eating out
    United Sates Department of Agriculture, MyPyramid.gov

    • As a beverage choice, ask for water or order fat-free or low-fat milk, unsweetened tea, or other drinks without added sugars.
    • Ask for whole wheat bread for sandwiches.
    • In a restaurant, start your meal with a salad packed with veggies, to help control hunger and feel satisfied sooner.
    • Ask for salad dressing to be served on the side. Then use only as much as you want
    • Choose main dishes that include vegetables, such as stir fries, kebobs, or pasta with a tomato sauce.
    • Order steamed, grilled, or broiled dishes instead of those that are fried or sauted.
    • Choose a small or medium portion. This includes main dishes, side dishes, and beverages.
    • Order an item from the menu instead heading for the all-you-can-eat buffet.
    • If main portions at a restaurant are larger than you want, try one of these strategies to keep from overeating:

      * Order an appetizer or side dish instead of an entre.
      * Share a main dish with a friend.
      * If you can chill the extra food right away, take leftovers home in a doggy bag.
      * When your food is delivered, set aside or pack half of it to go immediately.
      * Resign from the clean your plate club, when you have eaten enough, leave the rest.
    • To keep your meal moderate in calories, fat, and sugars:

      * Ask for salad dressing to be served on the side so you can add only as much as you want.
      * Order foods that do not have creamy sauces or gravies
      * Add little or no butter to your food.
      * Choose fruits for dessert most often.
    • 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.


    If you're trying to maintain your weight or eat healthier, the above are great strategies to stop having to fear eating out, as portions at restaurants tend to be bigger and contain more "hidden" cals, sugars, fat etc. However, I have to say, when I go out to eat, I think it's almost a waste to fear being able to eat anything b/c it might not be healthy or to obsessively try to follow the above suggestions each and every time. Enjoy eating out, just be aware of your choices. Going out once in a while and being able to enjoy a meal without worring about 'being healthy' in every aspect can be just as healthy as watching what you eat. Nevertheless, these are great tips if you do want to make healthier choices when eating out.

  2. #2

    Eating out tips

    I think that eating out advice is really good. I read something related a while ago and saved it. It's from Jenny Craig's Dining Out Guide 2002.

    "What are the ingredients?"
    Be aware of code words for hidden fat.
    -Alfredo
    -Breaded
    -Creamed
    -Lover's
    -Pesto
    -Smothered
    -Bacon
    -Cheesy
    -Crispy
    -Meaty
    -Rich
    -The Works
    -Bchamel
    -Club
    -Golden
    -Kung Pao
    -Sauted
    -Old Fashioned

  3. #3

    Eating out tips

    so true. but you know, I'm wondering if you throw my post and your post together and then go out to a restaurant, it'd be pretty overwhelming to eat anything that seems healthy or 'okay' to eat... simply b/c so much of restaurant food is more about the taste, flavour, colour, texture etc. than necessarily about what's healthiest... (not to say that healthy food has to lack flavour, colour etc..) but as I said just having a general awareness in order to make conscious decisions you can at least eat somewhat healthy...

  4. #4

    Eating out tips

    This discussion prompted me to re-examine a book I own called Restaurant Confidential. I was surprised to learn that pizza and even Greek salads have a lot of sodium because of the cheese.

    Some links from the Restaurant Confidential website:

    Chinese food study
    Mexican food study
    Italian food study
    Pizza study
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  5. #5

    Eating out tips

    thanks Daniel.... I skimmed the website until I have more time to go back but it already looks really informative & definitely interesting!!! thanks for posting the links...

  6. #6

    Eating out tips

    Correction: The correct link to the Italian restaurant study is: When in Rome...

    BTW, another, more recent report by the same organization is:

    Restaurant Roullette: Rolling the Dice on "Diet" Menus

    It provides nutrition info and recommendations regarding the healthier entrees at Ruby Tuesday, TGI Fridays, the Olive Garden, Chili's, Red Lobster, Applebee's, and Bob Evans.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  7. #7

    Eating out tips

    As someone who eats out at least once a day, a general awareness of the nutritional content in foods makes a huge difference. Also, an upshot I have found in eating out is that it is much easier to get fresh salads and veggies. I think sometimes I actually eat healthier when I eat out.
    But Euonia, I agree that if you only eat out once in a while, who cares? It's what you do consisently that matters, not what you do occasionally (at least in terms of diet and exercise).

    I was surprised to learn that pizza and even Greek salads have a lot of sodium because of the cheese.
    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Not sodium!!!!! Don't say that, I love cheese!!

  8. #8

    Eating out tips

    One word: Poutine. Everything you shouldn't eat in a single covenient dish.

  9. #9

    Eating out tips

    well I guess the one good thing is I don't recognize a lot of the names of the restaurants that the study used... lol. but the items on the menus are pretty generic so it's definitely comparable to other places!

    and I have to agree- I love Greek and cheese. so much for that. must be all about the moderation then. :o)

  10. #10

    Eating out tips

    One word: Poutine. Everything you shouldn't eat in a single covenient dish.
    Yes, poutine is a wonderful example.

    Regarding sodium and cheese, I found out there are cheeses marketed as being low sodium. In the US, Alpine Lace is one brand that provides low sodium cheeses.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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