Best Ways to Eat Healthy at Lunch

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Dining Out: Plan in Advance

Restaurant portions are double, or triple, what experts consider appropriate for most people.  Ever notice that it’s one size fits all when it comes to restaurant portions?  Knowing how much food you usually eat per meal helps you plan in advance.  Other tips:

  1. Arrive informed:   I am not shy about asking—or researching—the restaurant menu in advance.  I’ve phoned ahead or gone to the website to see if there’s a menu to review before I dine.  Most quick-casual chains—and just about all fast food chains—have online menus.  Some have nutritional information right there—just click.
  2. Learn the Lingo:  Quickly scan the menu to ascertain the dishes that are heavily sauced or fried or breaded.  When you know the lingo, it is easy to differentiate between well-prepared foods and food that is high in fat and calories.
  3. Don’t be shy:  If the menu doesn’t specify the prep, ask.  Asking is always better than being unpleasantly surprised with a dish covered with cheese or floating in fat.
  4. Out of sight:  When you sit down at many full service restaurants, there’s usually a basket of bread or crackers—even dips—on the table.  Also there’s fat on the table…butter…about 100 calories per tablespoon.  It’s too easy to polish off an entire basket of tortilla chips before ordering a single thing.  Take a deep breath—skip it and leave hundreds of calories on the table
  5. On the Side:  Make this part of your restaurant vocabulary, and never hesitate to say it.  Most servers understand this request, but it can never be said too often, because salads, vegetables, entrees may all have a fatty sheen of butter or sauce slathered on top.
  6. Portion Control:  Remember, the entrée will usually suffice for two or more, so order one entrée to share, and start with an appetizer salad or soup.  Or order two appetizers—one for your entrée.

For you guys that don’t want to spend the cash going out to eat, there’s always smart ways to save from shopping and eating at home.