Find out how health experts navigate eating at restaurants.
When you’re trying to slim down and stick to a healthy eating plan, a restaurant visit can seem unnerving, threatening to derail your latest weight loss efforts. You don’t need to ditch restaurant meals until you’ve hit your goal weight, just learn how to prepare for these higher-calorie foods and the best ways to enjoy indulgences as part of your diet plan. Here, nutrition experts share the tips they practice when eating out. “Going out to dinner is part of everyday life,” says Miami-based Marina Chaparro, R.D.N., Clinical Dietitian & Certified Diabetes Educator, National Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “You shouldn’t be afraid of going out to dinner for fear of gaining weight. Learn how to order at a restaurant and plan ahead. The more you know about the restaurant or cuisine, the better choices you can make,” she adds.
Beware of the Food Traps
You’ve heard nutritionists say that you should skip the breadbasket, and all of our experts still agreed with this tip. But, beware the other foods, like fried chips and salsa that you can buy anytime, or other carb-heavy samples the restaurant puts out, like focaccia bread or mini pizza pieces. “Don’t eat because you’re bored, waiting, and it’s just sitting there,” says Delbridge. Save your calories for a better dish you’ve been craving.