The food of the restaurant it's designed to look, smell and taste, and that means that nutrition sometimes it can get in the way when menus feature main courses soaked in butter or rich sauces, salads with creamy dressings and few whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

1. Detect it

These days, you can find healthy foods almost everywhere. The trick is knowing what you're getting into before you get to the restaurant and be tempted by the attractive menu descriptions. Many restaurants They have their menus online, some with nutritional information available. You can choose the destination with the healthiest options and enter the restaurant ready to order the best food and request substitutions when necessary.

Before leaving, do a plan:

  • Eat a light dinner if you ate a big lunch that day. Or, if you know ahead of time that you are going to a restaurantPlan light meals throughout the day.
  • Commit to eating slowly. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get the message from your stomach that it is no longer hungry. Those who eat fast are often more than those who eat slowly, while those who eat slowly tend to eat less and are still satisfied.
  • Make physical activity a part of dining out. All you need is a comfortable pair of shoes. Choose a restaurant it's a 10-15 minute walk. You will get your food, 30 minutes of physical activity and avoid the inconvenience of parking. Or move in a group before or after eating. A quick walk before a meal gives you time to chat. A walk later helps your digestion.

2. Don't divide your plate

You've probably read tips for ordering half portions or sharing your meal with a friend. But given the large portion sizes spread over some restaurants, half may still be too much. Practice visualizing what your plate would look like at home and try replicating it in your restaurant food.

And, be deliberate when ordering. Balance your meal by including healthier selections from all the different food groups, such as lean protein foods, low-fat dairy, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Look for fresh starter salads that give you "balance in a bowl." For example, entree salads with baked or grilled chicken, beans, or seafood provide protein along with fiber and other nutrients. Ask for a dressing on the side so you can control the serving size.

For sandwich toppings, go with vegetarian options that include lettuce, tomato, avocado, and onion; If you use condiments, choose ketchup, mustard, gravy, or sauce.

Complete your meal by ordering healthy side dishes, such as a salad, baked potato, or fruit. Increase the nutritional value of your baked potato with vegetables, sauce or chili.

3. Add to your food

Do you think eating healthy is about what you can't eat? Focus on what healthy items you can add to your plate instead of just what foods to avoid. Look for whole grain breads, pastas, and side dishes; opt for foods with healthy fats like olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds; be sure to order plenty of fruits and vegetables; and go for lean meat, turkey, chicken or fish.

4. Don't go hungry

You feel hungry, and before you know it you have eaten several pieces of bread with butter before your main meal arrives. If you are hungry before going to the restaurant, eat a small snack like fruit. Or, at the restaurant, order a cup of broth-based soup or a small salad to avoid hunger.

5. Stay tuned to the wording

The way a dish is described in a menu it can give you clues about how you are prepared. Look for words like “grilled,” “roasted,” or “steamed,” meaning the food is cooked with less fat, and avoid dishes with descriptions like “fried,” “breaded,” “smothered,” “alfredo. "," Rich "" and "creamy".

6. Ask, ask, ask

Don't be afraid to ask your server to help you improve your food. For example, you can order a salad instead of the usual potato chips or fries with a meal. You can also ask that articles they are made with less oil or cheese, ask the server to remove the bread basket and serve the salad with dressing on the side, and request an appetizer portion of a main meal.

You can even often ask "outside the menu"; For example, ask what vegetarian dish the chef can prepare for you or if it is possible to prepare grilled chicken and steamed vegetables. Many restaurants they are happy to meet.

If you like dining out, don't think you should stop if you want to stay healthy. With a little preparation and smart substitutions, you can order meals that are as nutritious as the ones you make at home.

I am a dreamer and in my dreams I believe that a better world is possible, that no one knows more than anyone, we all learn from everyone. I love gastronomy, numbers, teaching and sharing all the little I know, because by sharing I also learn. "Let's all go together from foundation to success"
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