5 Delicious Hacks for Eating Healthier at Restaurants
Deciding to live a healthier lifestyle can be a lot of work. Eating better means more meal prep and taking more time to consider what you put in your body. By prepping and cooking your meals at home, you are better able to know what you are eating which helps you to be healthier. But if you are like most people, you probably like to dine out every now and then. So now that you are eating better, how do you stay true to your healthy lifestyle when at a restaurant without eating salads all the time?
Today’s restaurants know that diners want alternatives, especially when it comes to healthier options. Most menus include lighter dining options, calorie conscious items or sugar-free dessert options. You have choices, you just have to know where to look and what to choose. Here are a few clever hacks that you can use when eating healthier at a restaurant.
Choose Items from the Lighter Menu
Your first choice may be to choose an appetizer or entrée from the main menu. However, for a healthier alternative, pick something from the Lighter Menu. At Kate’s Kitchen or Ronnie’s Restaurant, for example, you will find five dishes on the menu for weight loss (located under "Fitness Corner") that can help you stick to your new regimen. Items like "In the Garden" include fresh veggies, egg whites, and lean meats to give you plenty of healthy fats, protein, and fiber to power you up and dazzle your taste buds at the same time.
Swap Out Fries for Fruit, Veggies or Cottage Cheese
One way to eat better at a restaurant is to skip the French fries. Choose a healthier option like fruit, cottage cheese or veggies. While we can't deny how delicious French fries are, they tend to be overloaded in salt, grease and calories. Some restaurants even offer sweet potato fries, which are a more nutrient-dense alternative to regular potatoes. Making a healthy swap for your fries from time to time will help you maintain a lower calorie count with your meal.
Skip the Soda
Instead of choosing a calorie and sugar rich soda as your beverage, skip it! Just a regular 20oz restaurant-sized glass of non-diet cola adds a whopping 227 calories to your lunch or dinner. And that's without a refill! Studies have concluded that drinking soda with protein-rich foods is one of the leading causes of weight gain.
Choose an iced tea or even water for a better option. Plus, drinking more water with your meal is a great way to regulate your metabolism, helping you to feel fuller faster while hydrating your body. Don't like the taste of plain water? Add a squeeze of lemon or some other fruit juice for a burst of flavor.
Avoid Calorie-Loaded Salad Dressings
If you have chosen a salad as part of your meal or as your entrée, you want to avoid added extra calories by choosing a salad dressing that is light and low in calorie. Avoid using calorie-loaded ranch dressing and instead choose something lighter like a vinaigrette.
Crepes Instead of Pancakes
While pancakes are wonderful (what would life be like without them?), keep in mind that they are high in sugar, carbs and calories once you add in syrup. For a similar breakfast meal, choose crepes (like our Berry Nice Crepes!). Thinner than pancakes, filled with fresh fruit, and topped with strawberry yogurt, granola, and powdered sugar, our crepes make for a lighter, more nutritious option to traditional pancakes slathered in sugar and syrup.
The real trick to eating healthier at restaurants is to make tiny tweaks here and there. Try guacamole instead of mayo on your sandwich. Experiment with salsa or hot sauce instead of ketchup (which is loaded with sugar) on your eggs. Dust powdered sugar on your pancakes instead of butter and syrup. You don't have to sacrifice flavor for the sake of your health!
While it is okay to indulge every now and then, knowing that healthier alternatives exist will allow you to feel good about your meal choices. Be conscious of what you are choosing and ask questions when you are unsure as to how something is prepared or if there might be a healthier option to your meal.
Visit Kate’s Kitchen or Ronnie’s Restaurant to have a delicious meal where you can choose healthy menu items and make diet-friendly swaps to stay on track for whatever your health goals. Visit the "Fitness Corner" portion of our menu to view our full offering of diet-conscious dishes.