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.
Sharing Is Caring
“I split an appetizer or have a small portion if the group orders one,” says Delbridge. This will help limit your portion size, he says. “We go to a restaurant that has these avocado egg rolls, and they're amazing, but there are eight of them that come on a plate. If I go with three other people, I know I’m only going to eat two,” he says. “I'm a big fan of tapas-style eating and sharing my food with my friends and loved ones,” Chaparro says. “My husband and I often share one main dish and an appetizer. Most of the time, this is just enough food to keep us satisfied but not beyond full.” Remember, most standard restaurant portions are quite large. This is a great way to cut back on portions and get to try other dishes, she says.