Simple Tricks and Healthy Eating Tips to Make Healthier Dining Choices   

Simple Tricks and Healthy Eating Tips to Make Healthier Dining Choices

There’s something about the season of spring. It comes with date nights, girls’ nights out, and dinner parties. Could the rising temperatures and longer days have something to do with all this socializing? Not to mention, when the sun waits ‘til 7:30 pm to set, going out is certainly much more appealing! That may have something to do with the urge to over-indulge on a night out and make late dinner reservations in one of the new restaurants around.  

When dining out, it’s easy to notice how the portions are significantly larger than what we serve ourselves at home. There is always more oil and butter in the dishes compared to what we cook for ourselves, or even buy in a frozen meal. Ordering a glass of wine or two is almost expected when you’re out for dinner. Then there are the endless dinner rolls and rich desserts you would never whip up in your own kitchen… 

Dining out is a great experience especially for your taste buds and social schedule. What it’s not great for is your healthy eating habits. Overindulging at dinner when you’re out with friends is totally normal, but not necessary. 

Such temptations require some healthy eating tips to help make healthier eating choices while out at a restaurant.  

Five healthy eating tips your tummy will thank you for:  

1. Do Menu Research Beforehand

Anyone indecisive is familiar with checking out a restaurant’s menu to narrow down their options before going to dinner. That same practice is handy when you want to make sure there are healthy and appealing options available.  

Most restaurants have a website with their menu easily accessible. Search engines like Eat24, Grubhub, and Yelp are another good way to access a restaurant’s menu. Checking out the menu options beforehand also helps you resist the cheesy, carb-heavy, buttered temptation to come.

2. Have Some Healthy Swap Options Ready

Having a mental list of healthy swaps is another smart move. You never know what cravings will kick in once you’ve gotten a whiff of the other guests’ entrees. Tempted to chow down on the dinner rolls? Skip the bread basket and opt to order a veggie-based appetizer instead. That goes for your meal as well; instead of ordering your meal with a side of fried, baked, or mashed potatoes, substitute green vegetables instead. Side salad, steamed asparagus, and broccoli are all great choices that your stomach will thank you for. 

3. Keep the 80/20 Rule in Mind  

Restaurants are always generous with their portions, which are much larger than what most people normally serve themselves at home. Finishing an entire entree will likely leave you feeling uncomfortably full. Rather than skip your dining experience completely, follow the third of these healthy eating tips: the 80/20 rule. 

The rule is simple. Estimate how much an 80% portion of your meal is. After you eat that 80% portion, take a breather to evaluate how full you are. The reason behind this is that your brain takes time to register how full your stomach feels. So, if you take time to pause your eating and listen to your stomach, you’ll be less inclined to overeat.  

Mindless eating is too easy to do when you’re surrounded by friends, drinking a little wine, and distracted by great conversation. So take a moment and pause; doing so will help you regain some self-control and help determine whether you are still hungry.

4. When Unsure, Stick tVegetables  

It’s the one rule you should always remember; the greener your diet is, the happier your tummy and overall well-being. The above rule is one to abide by not only while eating out, but also when cooking home meals too. When everyone else is munching away heavy, carb-filled starters, consider a green salad instead. The fiber and nutrients will help you feel satiated without filling you up before the main course. Ever tried a side of roasted or grilled veggies? They’re to die for.   

5. Have Only One Indulgence  

Dessert, bread, and a glass of wine can all be considered unhealthy eating choices if consumed all at once, especially in large quantities. There isn’t much harm in choosing one in moderation. Often, many people tend to forego the bread unless the restaurant they are visiting is famous for their baked goods. Indulging in a glass of wine or a piece of tasty dessert is preferable, especially when there is a celebratory mood all round.

Healthy choices are important, but so is indulgence. No one likes to be deprived of a treat. 

So there you have it; five simple tips to help you make better healthier choices while at a restaurant. Considering how simple these tips are too, it is advised that you start implementing them immediately. Numerous benefits await you and with zero downsides.