When you are trying to change your lifestyle to a healthier one, you usually try to avoid brunching or dining out since this will only tempt you to consume more than you usually would if you were eating at home. Restaurants usually offer huge servings and you cannot be so sure of how they prepare their food hence, giving you no control of your eating environment.
However, you cannot avoid days where you need to dine out for a special occasion or just a normal day but what you can avoid is being vulnerable to all the wrong choices you might make. Whether on a diet or not, you should be aware of how to order like a pro at a restaurant since this will surely save you from either overspending or overeating or even both. Listed below are some tips on how to order when dining out.
Volunteer in Choosing the Restaurant
The question everybody loves to ask is “Where are we eating?” If you find you and your group of friends or hot date stuck with this question, always be prepared with a good suggestion in hand. You should do some research on which restaurants offer a lot of yummy and healthy choices. If there is a Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen in your area, try recommending this because it serves good and healthy options.
Do not go to a restaurant feeling famished
The worst thing you can do to ruin a diet is arriving at a restaurant feeling like you are so hungry you can eat a whole zebra. Arriving at a place famished would only result in eating way more than you usually would especially if you came to an excellent buffet place like Hometown Buffet. Before you leave your home for dinner, pop in a handful of nuts and drink a glass of water.
Read the entire menu
Do not be too excited to order since this will only make you prone to making bad choices. Read the entire menu to see what they have in store for you. Choose healthier options, compare calories if you like, and compare prices if you are on a budget. If you skip reading the menu, you might miss out a good healthy meal that’s worth your money.
Keep your priorities straight
Aside from the main course, allow yourself to indulge in one extra course. This can either be a dessert or an appetizer or you can even get a drink. If you are on a cheat day or you are someone who does not observe a strict diet, you may choose two from the options. However, make sure that whatever you choose will be worth it.
Fall back meals
You should practice developing a default order in mind. Having a list of fall back food or entrees on your mind can get you through if you do not have the luxury of time to read the entire menu. Have a protein source and a side dish in mind then ask the waiter if they have it.
Allowing others to place their orders first will just tempt you to go with whatever your friends are having instead of picking out what you really wanted to eat. You know what they say about peer pressure!
Try going a la carte
If you wish to save money and avoid the extra calories, going a la carte is a trick that might help you. Since a lot of restaurants offer various serving size, you can select which size would fit your calorie intake or appetite.
Sharing is caring
While some restaurants offer a variety of serving sizes, there are those that do not. If you happen to be dining at a restaurant that offers huge servings, try to see if your friend wants to share it with you. However, if you are eating alone, you can ask the waiter to wrap the other half for you so you can take it home.
Easy with the dressings
Some meals are low in calories until you top them with dressings. Since most restaurants love putting toppings and whatnots to make their food look more appealing and Instagram-ready, you should be aware of how much unnecessary calories are on top of your salad. When ordering, always request for dressings or sauces on the side. This way you get more control on the amount that you will be using.
Ask, ask, ask!
Never hesitate to ask questions. The waiter or waitress is there for a reason. If you wish to have a food prepared in a certain way, then you can ask them if they can make your request happen. There is nothing wrong with asking questions. However, you always need to remember to ask questions politely and nicely.
The strategies that we have listed are just a few ones that you might want to follow the next time you dine out. Your dining experience and how you order will always depend on you. Always make sure that you have an idea what you are ordering before you commit to it. If you are totally clueless or if the menu is written in another language, it is best to ask first.