More restaurants are putting calories and other nutritional information in their menus, so patrons can make informed choices. However, the numbers often shock you when you think you know what healthy eating looks like. If a salad has over 700 calories, is it possible to eat healthy when you dine out?
Look Beyond Calories
First, realize that calories only tell part of the story. The calories in a chef salad are still healthier than those in a burger and French fries. You’re getting more nutrients with the vegetables and fruits instead of empty calories with fried foods.
Ask for Options
Many times, you can reduce the number of calories in an entrée by asking for substitutes. Instead of French fries with the burger, can you get a side salad? Can you get the burger without the bread or the mashed potatoes without the gravy? These little changes can add up to big calorie savings.
Look at the Kids Menu
Often the kids’ menu at a restaurant will contain healthier options. They may have the choice of applesauce, grapes or broccoli as a side. Their portions are smaller as well, which reduces the number of calories being consumed. A second option is to see if the menu has a section for those over 55. Those items often factor in heart-healthy, low-calorie menu items for seniors or even sugar-free foods.
If you really want the delicious entrée you know is loaded with calories, order it without guilt. Eat half and save the rest for your next meal. All those calories won’t seem so bad if you divide them into two meals, and you can enjoy the flavours you love.
Eating healthy is possible anywhere as long as you plan ahead and make smart choices.