by Tiffanie Grady-Gillespie, Certified Physical Trainer, Certified Corporate Wellness Coach, WickedFiTT
Let’s face it. Life can be super chaotic, crazy, hectic, and sometimes exhausting with work, the gym, kids, and family activities. Sometimes a night without cooking is just what we need, but those dinners out can wreak havoc on the waistline.
Luckily, there are a lot of healthy options when dining out. Many restaurants now offer delicious meals and menu options that won’t spell diet disaster.
First off, always, always, always have a game plan. Look the place up online, view the menu. A little research goes a long way. Look for words like light, fresh, fit, vegetarian, skinny and so on that indicate they could be a better choice.
I know this is always a tough one, but you can easily eat hundreds of extra calories before you even order your meal when you dig into the bread basket or tortilla chip bowl. (Now that you want to stop reading this all together, I do have more tips).
Salad as a starter. Individuals who eat a large vegetable salad before their main dish eat fewer calories than those who don’t. Keep it simple by avoiding the creamy (fattening) dressings. Don’t be afraid to ask for dressing on the side. Ohhh, and skip the cheese and croutons.
The main course; so many options. Maybe try doubling even tripling up on the side of vegetables. Look for words on the menu like grilled, broiled, and baked. Run far away from words like creamy, buttery, breaded, stuffed, scalloped, or smothered; those foods likely are loaded with fat and calories.
Drink water between bites. Many times we think we’re hungry when we’re actually just thirsty.
And that takes me to my next tip.
Sugary drinks and alcohol are loaded with empty calories. Try to drink flavored waters or ice tea. If you like a little alcohol with dinner, a glass of red wine with your meal is always a much better choice than a Pina Colada or Margarita.
And finally, if you must have your dessert, ask for some fresh fruit in season, or stop for a froyo after dinner. Maybe take a walk later or even go bowling, dancing; do something to work off that meal.
Healthy choices can be found if you know what to look for. Enjoy!