By SRK Editor
| Last updated December 20, 2018
I am sure this isn’t the first time you’ve heard this: eating healthy when eating out is hard, extremely hard! Statistics say that the average restaurant meal contains well over 1,000 calories and you won’t need a calorie counter to know that figures like that will surely spoil any semblance of a healthy eating plan or diet you may be on.
Luckily, however, there are some good strategies for healthy restaurant eating that you can adopt. Simply follow the below guidelines:
1. Stick to one course.
When you’re eating at home you’re likely only ever eating one course, and adding appetizers or a second full course to your meal when eating out does nothing but increase your caloric consumption exponentially. Furthermore, many appetizers at restaurants tend to be unhealthy and filled with calories your body does not need.
2. Salads are your friend.
Not only will salad help fill you up, but they’re generally made with healthier ingredients such as leafy greens, vegetables, good protein and healthy low amounts of carbs. You should also be aware that salads can be unhealthy, depending on your topping and salad dressing choices. Skip the croutons and cheese and go for dressings made of vinegar and olive oil whenever you can.
3. If the salad isn’t your entrée, choose a healthy entrée.
It may seem obvious but going for entrees that are either broiled, steamed or grilled is the correct choice here. Stay off anything that is fried, which will save you calories and decrease the amount of fat consumption. Add portions of vegetables to your entrée and remember that you do not need heavy sauces to enjoy your entrée. If skipping the sauce isn’t an option, try going for one that is tomato based rather than cream based, and try to get it served as a side so you can choose how much to consiume.
4. Choose healthy drinks with your meal
Instead of choosing alcohol or sugar-heavy soda/pop try to go for either iced tea (sweetened or not, it will still be better than soda/pop) or just stick to water. You will be surprised by the number of calories you consume with just drinks served with your meal. Having a glass of wine or beer isn’t the end of the world, but remember it must all be in moderation and that having one drink is one thing, while consuming several is another.
5. You don’t have to always say no to dessert
Of course consuming dessert will add extra calories to your meal, so skipping is recommended. If you have a sweet tooth and would like to indulge it see if there are low fat or low carbohydrate dessert options or, alternatively, try to have coffee with milk or fruit instead at the end of your meal.
6. Keep an eye on your portions
Many restaurants these days, especially in the United States, serve large portions and oftentimes these are almost double the size of what you’d serve yourself at home. While the nature of the situation may seem to force you to eat it all please remember you can set half or more aside to take home with you. You can also choose to remove it from your plate before you begin eating, thus diminishing the temptation to over-eat as you go through your meal.
7. Choose a healthy restaurant to begin win
Traditional fast food restaurants are obviously not the right choice if you’re watching your calorie intake and are trying to stick to a healthy food regimen. Similarly, there are chain restaurants that are known to have unhealthy meal options filled with fat or carb-heavy options, cream-based sauces and the like.
Click here for some tips on how to find healthy restaurants in your area.
Square Roots Kitchen is a technology driven, healthy, quick service restaurant, designed to meet the dining needs of the on-the-go consumer. We offer our customers a healthy and delicious alternative to traditional quick serve fare.
Our aim is to provide healthy food at fast food speed, with fully-customizable menu that allows you to pick and choose the right ingredients for your meal based on your health and dietary needs and restrictions.
Square Roots Kitchen provides dine-in, pick-up and delivery options as well as a full healthy catering options throughout Chicago. For more information visit our catering section here.