Living in NYC, a big part of my social life is meeting friends and going out for dinner. One of the biggest challenges, I face, and many clients also face is what to order and how to order at a restaurant.
Although cooking at home is always the best bet. Don’t fret! If you are like me and love to eat out…here are some helpful tips that can help you the next time you are dining out.
1. MORE VEGGIES PLEASE! I have noticed that a side of vegetables at restaurants is more like a garnish these days. When ordering, as for more veggies, even offer to pay more…many times they wont even charge you. Eating more veggies will get you full…not fat!
2. HAVE IT YOUR WAY – Grilled not fried, steamed not sautéed. Less oil please, vegetables instead of fries. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want the way you want it.
3. ASK HOW THE FOOD IS PREPARED. Excuse me Sir, but is that fish made with butter or oil? Olive oil or vegetable oil? Don’t be afraid to ask these questions. It is important to know what you are putting into your body. Even though a restaurant may offer a “lighter Fare” – that doesn’t always mean what its advertising.
4. DOUBLE THE APPS. I find that many times, I like the appetizer options better than the dinner entrée choices. They are lighter and tastier – Tuna tartar for example maybe my favorite appetizer. I love it so much I often order a double portion as my dinner and have a small green salad for my app – couldn’t be happier :)!
5. SALAD TO START. I suggest ordering a green salad before your entrée. Salads are nutritious and filling. You will end up eating less calories overall. Make sure the salad has dark leafy greens with some good veggies in it…and be careful of the dressing you choose. Which leads me to my next suggestion…
6. ON THE SIDE! Dressings, sauces, etc.…I always find that restaurants load up on the dressing and the sauces. Asking for those things on the side gives you the option of putting on exactly as much as you think you need with out over doing it.
7. SURF THE WEB. Check menu online before you leave for dinner. I started doing this, especially when I would go to a new restaurant and sometimes find there is nothing on the menu to eat. Investigating where you eat before you go can save you a headache and calories, just saying!
8. DRINK WATER – drink water throughout your meal – will help you slow down your eating and enjoy your food more. We should be drinking water always, btw!
9. DON’T GO TO DINNER STARVING! Enjoy a protein rich snack before eating out. Will help stabilize your blood sugar and prevent you from over eating.
10. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ORDER DESSERT! Opt for sharing desserts or choose a lower calorie dessert like sorbet or non-dairy gelato. I always have a sweet tooth, but instead of ordering the crème brulee I will get an almond milk or a skim milk cappuccino or latte, and I always opt for the berries – they are sweet, satisfying and super nutritious.
So the next time you are making reservations for dinner – don’t worry! You can always find healthier ways of eating even though you aren’t cooking it yourself.
Bon Appetit! Let me know how you are doing, I would love to hear from you.