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Healthy Eating Outside The Home

By HealthLife Contributor
Updated: August 23, 2008
If a menu does not provide you with a healthy alternative, speak up. It might just be that the alternative meals have simply not yet been added to the menu. Still, do not be afraid to ask your waiter or the chef/cook for an alternative preparation. Ask for dressings on the side, choose whole-wheat breads, or ask if there is an alternate (healthier) way of preparing your entrée.

Keep an eye on your portions. Eating a healthy meal does you no good if you eat two servings of it. Most restaurants actually give you more than a standard portion of a particular meal. That grilled chicken dish may be for one person, but it might often be enough for two people or two servings. If the restaurant provides you with the option, opt for the half-order, or ask if half of your meal can be set-aside to be taken home. If the restaurant cannot, or will not split your meal, wait until the plate is in front of you and do so yourself.
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As the old saying goes, sharing is caring. When you go out to eat, sharing a meal with your date, partner, friend, or significant other can be a great (and romantic) option. Not only will you eat a smaller portion, but the check will be half of what it might have been. Sharing a meal might also leave you with a little more room for dessert, although you should probably share that too.

At the end of the day, going out to eat does not have to be a restricting experience. It is important to remember though, that it is also not an excuse to break your healthy eating habits. Many people wok very hard to achieve a particular physical condition, and making a few bad choices at a restaurant can easily work against all of that hard work. The bottom line is to relax, enjoy your meal and your time away from home, but remember the big picture. You can still enjoy a nice restaurant dinner, and with a few smart decisions, you don't have to feel guilty afterwards.
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