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Dieting, calorie counting, clean eating — all these healthy living buzzwords can be frustrating over time. A lot of people eventually give up on their weight loss efforts because they can’t take the deprivation that comes with eating healthy.
Some level of sacrifice is necessary if you want to get fit, as you do have to watch what you eat and workout regularly. However, this doesn’t mean you can never eat the food you love ever again. You can still go to your favorite restaurants and enjoy a good meal without falling back into your bad eating habits.
Keep these tips in mind the next time you eat out.
Start your meal with a large vegetable salad.
A fresh salad loaded with lots of vegetables is a good way to start off your meal on the right track. It fills you up for much fewer calories, and you’re less likely to overeat when you order your entree. You’ll likely skip dessert, too. Just make sure you remove the calorie-laden items like croutons and go with a vinaigrette over a creamy dressing.
Split your order in half right off the bat.
When you order, ask the server to put half your of your entree in a to-go box right away. Many restaurants and fast food joints provide way too much food per order. One thing to remember is that you can eat what you want, but all in moderation! Eat the food you enjoy in the right proportions. Putting half in a to-go box is the best way to stay on track with your portion control.
Change your usual order.
Give your usual order a break and look through the menu for a healthier, more nutritious option. The last thing you want is to load up on empty calories. Even when eating out, you should look for the best, most nutritious choice you can find. Go for salmon instead of your usual beef, or substitute your creamy carbonara with a much healthier aglio e olio spaghetti.
Go grilled, not fried.
In fact, look for dishes that are baked or broiled, too. These cooking methods are usually healthier, and therefore would be better for your healthy eating effort overall. These options aren’t perfect, but they’re definitely less like to increase your caloric intake compared to fried food.
Ask for sauces on the side.
In many cases, eating out becomes a high-calorie nightmare because of the many add-ons present in your dishes. Instead of just the plain steak, you get gravy and mashed potatoes for sides. These sauces usually include a lot of butter and fat for guaranteed flavor, so they’re definitely packing a lot of extra calories. Ask the server to have these sauces on the side, so you can have a little bit of them if you like, rather than smothering your entire meal in them.
Request more vegetables.
If the entree you ordered comes with vegetable sides, ask the server if they can give you triple the regular amount. Loading up your plate with veggies is always a good way to fill your stomach minus the calories. Most restaurants will oblige and won’t charge you for the extra veggies at all.
Be wary of trendy “health” terms.
A lot of restaurants now advertise food that is gluten-free or low-carb. Don’t be blinded by these words. Just because something is gluten-free doesn’t make it automatically the better choice. The dish can still be loaded with calories. Make sure to read the menu probably to figure out if the entree really is the healthier choice for you.
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