Eating out is one of the most enjoyable leisure activities out there. There’s something incredibly appealing about someone cooking your meal and bringing it to your table steaming hot. While a splurge every once in a while is okay, consuming too many calories at restaurants on a regular basis can put a damper on weight loss diets and cause us to pack on the pounds.

Family Enjoying Meal In Restaurant

If you dine out often and find yourself having a tough time staying away from the tempting high-calorie options, big portions, and even peer pressure, follow these guidelines by the weight loss experts at Total HealthcareMD:

Check the Menu in Advance

Almost every restaurant has their menu posted on their website. By finding it online before visiting the restaurant, you will have enough time to make a healthy selection. In addition, many restaurants display the calorie count for each of their menu items online so you can select a meal that is low in calories and works best for any diets you are following.

Ask for a Healthy Side

Many restaurants allow guests to select a side or two to supplement their main meal. Instead of choosing sides such as french fries, a loaded baked potato, tater tots, chips and other unhealthy options, ask for a salad or a side of steamed vegetables.

Box Half Your Meal

Restaurants are known to serve two to three times more than food labels list as a serving. To combat these large portions, it’s a good idea to ask the waiter or waitress to box half your meal before it enters the table. You can also split your meal with someone else. This ensures portion control and makes it easier for you to avoid overeating.

Drink Plenty of Water

Consuming lots of water prior to when your meal comes will fill you up and decrease your chances of eating too much. Water will also help you stay alert and offset the effects of eating foods that are too high in fat or sodium.

Ask for Special Requests

By politely asking for special requests, you can make any entree healthier. You can ask the waiter or waitress for any sauces or dressings to be served on the side, for less oil to be used when your dish is prepared, to trim visible fat from meat or poultry, and eliminate butter, gravy, or a creamy sauce from a dish.

While it may be challenging, it is possible to remain healthy and stick to certain weight loss diets while eating out. For more information on how to dine out without depriving yourself, visit Total HealthcareMD today.