Tip One- Choose the fried option less often
Fried and deep-fried foods are notoriously higher in calories. Deep-frying a food can increase the calories by as much as 40%! Not to mention the types of fats found in fried foods are normally not the healthy kind. Look for mains and sides that have been baked, grilled, broiled or steamed more often.
Tip Two- Skip the appetizer and/or the dessert
Unless it's a special occasion, most of us don't do appetizers when we eat at home so don't do it when you eat out either. These appetizers are tasty but they can sometimes have as many calories as the main. If you have to do an appetizer you may want to look for a small salad or soup options if possible. Same thing with dessert. You can always just opt for a nice cup or tea or coffee at the end of your meal instead.
Tip Three- Try for the chicken, fish or vegetarian option
It is recommended we try to limit our red meat intake to a couple of times per week. So if you are eating out frequently: try choosing chicken, fish or vegetarian options more often ( keeping in mind tip number one).
Tip Four- Slow down and don't feel like you have to eat it all
Hopefully the conversation at the dinner meeting is helping you pace your meal. However, if you are a quick eater you may still be having trouble with eating too quickly. Try to pace yourself and really savor the food. Maybe pace yourself off of how quickly your boss or the customer is eating if they are a slow pokes. By slowing down you give yourself time to feel full before you over eat. Your mom was right about a lot of things but you don't need to clean your plate at the restaurant. The portions are often too big anyway.
Tip Five- Upgrade to a healthier side option
Restaurants aim to please and they often make substitutions quite easy. If there is an option to get your sides switched to seasonal vegetables or your fries to a nicer salad it might be worth the extra cost to squeak a few more vegetables on your plate.
Tip Six- Ask for condiments on the side where possible
Sometimes it is what we drizzle on top that makes the real difference. A salad is great but if it is swimming in dressing it might be less healthy than you think. Ask for dressings and condiments on the side and add the amount you feel is best to have more control over what goes into your meal.
Eating healthy when constantly eating out is tough but hopefully with these tips you can at least make some healthier choices. No one is perfect so try not to stress about it and just do the best you can.