Eating out has become a major part of the busy American lifestyle. Remember that improving your health is not the concern of the restaurant industry. Their biggest concern is making money! That’s the bottom line. What sells food is fat, sugar and salt, so that’s what they’re going to serve!
You know what else sells? A bargain! For some reason we all think that the more food we get for our buck, the better deal we are getting. Think about that for a minute… is it a good deal if your $5 “meal deal” means that you just consumed 500 more calories than if you ate at home?
It’s not a good deal when it means you have to find an extra hour running off those calories! In order to be a smart consumer and promote a cancer fighting immune system, be sure to follow the 10 tips for healthy eating at restaurants.
Here are the final 5: (The first 5 can be found in Part I).
6. Keep portions SMALL! I cannot stress enough how much portion size makes a difference. Typically at restaurants, the portions of meat and starch are much too large and the portion of vegetables are small or non-existent.
Want to see how portion sizes have changed over the last 20 years? Check out this Portion Distortion Quiz! Two simple ways to cut the portion size is to order a kid’s size (without the cookie!) or split the meal with someone else.
7. Stay away from refined “white” grains. That means avoiding sweetened, sugary drinks like sodas and sweet tea. If you’re really smart, you might replace the white rice or white pasta with a veggie for the side dish. Also, if you must have desert, share one with everyone at the table!
8. Balance the rest of your day. There’s not a whole lot you can do with how the food is prepared, so make sure that the rest of your day is low sodium, full of fruits and vegetables and certainly don’t starve in anticipation of eating out. That is a sure fire way to overeat!
9. Eat a healthy snack before going out. Sometimes by the time I get to a restaurant, I’m so hungry that there’s no chance that I will a good decision. One way I fight against this scenario is to eat a healthy snack like fruit or veggies with dip BEFORE I head out.
10. TAKE A WALK!! To make sure that you provide your body with the metabolism to process the meal you eat, be sure you get some sort of physical activity in that day. Sweating will help rid your body of the extra sodium and the muscle building will help burn the extra calories you eat.
Make your health more important than a Meal Deal!