Whether it’s the 5-star steak house in Beverly Hills or the Apple Bees around the corner, eating out can be riddled with temptation. From high calorie dishes to gourmet appetizers to fancy desserts, it’s hard to make the right choice. So, how do you navigate through restaurant menu mayhem? Here are a few tips to help you stay on track and still enjoy your night out.
(1) Resist the bread
Extra bread with dinner can be a weight-loss nightmare. Add butter or oil to the equation and those extra abs you did in the gym will go to waste. To avoid temptation, ask the waiter to not bring the bread to the table (or sip on your water with envy as your skinny little brother downs the whole basket).
(2) Skip the high calorie drinks
Drinking is not your best friend when you’re trying to lose weight. Yet whether you’re out on a date or grabbing dinner with friends, it’s inevitable. Skip the margaritas, piña coladas and other exotic drinks. Who needs that fruity crap anyways? Stick to vodka and soda, tequila on the rocks, light beer, or a glass of wine.
(3) Read between the lines
Just because a dish “sounds healthy”, does not mean it will be. Descriptions such as “creamy”, “breaded”, “fried”, or “buttery” can be a calorie killer. Make sure to check twice before you order the fancy chicken off the menu.
(4) Go for the salad
Salad is always a good choice when you’re trying to stay on the lighter side. Still, be careful of the salad you pick. Bacon and cheese packed salads are not going to help you stay on track. Ask for the dressing on the side and make sure to read what ingredients are included.
(5) Substitute veggies for unhealthy sides
If your steak comes with a side of fries, don’t be afraid to swap it out for a side of steamed vegetables. Your abs will thank you later.
(6) Pay attention to any nutritional information
Whether there is a healthier section on the menu or calorie info next to each dish, it is never a bad idea to take advantage of the information provided. Try to stick between 400-600 calories on dinner depending on what you had that day.
(7) Drink water throughout dinner
Hydration is the key to any weight-loss plan. Plus, sipping on H2O between bites can leave you feeling more full and more likely to stop eating before your plate is empty.
(8) Skip dessert
Unless you’re celebrating your best friend’s birthday, it’s ok to say “no” to the double stuffed Oreo cake. If you do have to opt in for dessert, try to stick to fruit-based options such as sorbet or a fruit cocktail.