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.
Delay Your Cocktail
By now you’ve probably experienced drinking alcohol on an empty stomach and realized that it can lower inhibitions, possibly causing you to make poor food decisions. Some experts suggest not having alcohol until your meal arrives. Or, “have cocktails after dinner,” suggests Delbridge. “Otherwise, if you have a few cocktails before your meal and you’re feeling good, you might eat more than you intended to,” he says. Even better, finish your meal with a mug of herbal tea.