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.
Hold the Cheese
Okay, we’re not saying always eliminate cheese. But if a server wants to add extra cheese to your pasta or entrée, or if it’s in a dish with plenty of other ingredients, consider skipping it, suggests Stollman. “I'll order a salad and if it comes with cheese, I'll just ask for avocado instead, “ she says. It's a lot better because half of an avocado is 100 calories and only one ounce of cheese is 100 calories. You get a lot more avocado for your buck and you don't have the saturated fat,” she says.
More: 5 Easy Cheese Swaps