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  Dine smart

Order smart when dining out

It's easy to overdo it when dining out. Stay on track with these eat better tips:

  • Ask about alternatives. Restaurants usually offer low-fat options for cooking (steamed, grilled or broiled).
  • Eat your greens as a first course. Start your meal with a salad or broth-based soup to satisfy hunger and help you eat less from the main course. Try replacing french fries with a side of steamed vegetables.
  • Divide your plate. Choose vegetables or fruit as a side and make requests for whole grains. Choose a lean protein. Eat about two to four ounces of it and take the rest home.
  • Don't clean your plate. Ask for a takeout container and split your meal before you begin eating to control your portion size.
  • Replace alcohol or soda with water. This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to save a lot of calories.
  • Speak up. Request what you want and ask questions. Don't hesitate to make a request that isn't on the menu. Most restaurants are willing to accommodate their customers.

 

Instead of ordering this:

Replace with this:

Chinese

Kung Pao chicken with fried rice and an egg roll

Beef and broccoli with vegetables, try brown rice if available; request low-sodium soy sauce

Indian

Curry made with coconut milk and Naan (or fried bread); watch out for dishes made with "ghee" (clarified butter) and "malai" (thick cream sauce)

Tandoori chicken
Chicken tikka
Ask for lighter pappadams

Italian

Alfredo dishes, parmigiana-style entrées, cheese-stuffed items, garlic cheese bread or bread sticks

A pasta dish with marinara or red-clam sauce; or a shrimp or chicken dish topped with a red tomato sauce. For an appetizer, start your meal with a salad (and the dressing on the side) or a cup of minestrone soup.

Mexican

Nachos, chimichanga (fried burrito) or relleno (deep-fried, cheese-filled pepper); watch out for crispy (fried) chips and shells

Soft taco or fajitas (request corn or wholewheat tortilla) with fresh salsa, or a taco salad without the shell

Thai

Stir-fry with added noodles and fried appetizers

Beef or chicken satay and Thai rolls (not fried)