8 Tips for Eating Out More Healthfully

5. Request Smaller Portions

Most restaurants put too much food on the plate, and many of people have trouble leaving food on their plate. Therefore, before you order your meal, ask your server if you can receive a smaller portion than the standard size. Another way to receive a smaller meal is to forgo some of the sides that come with the entr?e. You don't need to eat the appetizer, soup, salad, bread and other courses that come with the meal. Just eat the entr?e and one of the accompanying side dishes.

6. Share a Meal

Because of the large portion sizes, consider sharing a meal with your dining companion. You can order one meal and ask for two plates. If the selected meal comes with several accompanying dishes you can split these as well. This includes desserts. In fact, because some restaurants offer obscenely unhealthy desserts, you should get in the habit of ordering these fattening treats for a table to share. Not only will you consume fewer calories, you will save money as well.

MoreYour Healthy Guide to Eating Out

7. Ask for a To-Go Box Before Your Meal

This works well if you are dining alone. When you place your order, ask your server to bring you a doggie bag. Before you start eating, take half of the meal and place it in the to-go box for the next day. Then eat the other half of the meal. Don't rely on your discipline to stop eating halfway through your meal. While some people will do this, many will not be able to stop.  A to-go box before your meal will help stop the temptation to overeat.

8. Eat Before You Eat

With the large amounts of food available at many restaurants and social gatherings, it is very easy to overeat. One way to minimize this is to eat a small meal prior to your event. Because you're not hungry, you'll be far less likely to overeat. This works for a diverse array of social activities such as dinner with friends, holiday parties and business lunches. The good news is you don't have to eat much prior to the main event. A piece of fruit or a small snack should do the trick.

MoreHealthy Dining Tips: A Full Day of Eating Out

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About the Author

Tyrone A. Holmes, Ed.D, CPT, is a certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise and a Level 2 cycling coach through USA Cycling. He provides Cycle-Max Coaching for cyclists and multisport athletes who want to improve their performance on the bike and Healthy Life Coaching for individuals who want to lose weight and develop healthier lifestyles. His latest book is Developing Training Plans for Cyclists and Triathletes. Visit his website at www.holmesfitness.com and his Fitness Corner blog at www.doctorholmes.wordpress.com.

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