6 Smart Strategies for Dining Out

Dining out is one of life’s pleasures and Zestar’s restaurant feature makes it easy to have a healthy experience, too! Using the extensive menu and nutrition facts database of more than 100 restaurants, Zestar will make recommendations that are just right for you based on your unique needs, activity level, and your other meals and snacks during the day. If the restaurant you choose is not listed in Zestar’s restaurant database, you can choose the “typical” menu option based on the type of food the restaurant offers. Zestar will recommend foods that are typically found on menus of that type of restaurant.

You can still enjoy a healthy, guilt-free meal by using these 6 smart strategies for dining out:

  • Enjoy a light snack like yogurt or a handful of nuts before you go. You won’t arrive at the restaurant starving so you’ll be less likely to overeat.
  • Select restaurants that offer healthy options and reasonable portions.
  • Start with a side salad, shrimp cocktail or broth-based soup instead of filling up on bread, tortilla chips or crackers.
  • Skip the high-fat menu items (breaded, fried, pan-fried, crispy, scalloped, casserole, in gravy or cream sauce) and go for those that are steamed, grilled, broiled, baked or roasted. And make sure to ask for any butter or sauces on the side.
  • Instead of fries or au gratin potatoes, consider a side of steamed asparagus, broccoli or boiled new potatoes.
  • Ask if lunch portions are available for dinner, share an entrée with a friend, order a few “small plates” or take home half your meal to enjoy tomorrow.

Dining out does not need to be added stress to your diet. The next time you’re perusing the menu at a restaurant, remember these strategies and you’ll be able to enjoy your meal and your conversation, without hurting your weight loss progress.

-Sharon Lehrman, MPH, RD, LD

Sharon Lehrman, MPH, RD, LD, is a registered dietitian with a private practice and corporate wellness business in Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can read health-related articles, subscribe to her free monthly nutrition newsletter, or contact her at www.nutritionhealthandwellness.com.

Read Sharon's full bio

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