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  • Maddy Belaustegui


There is no doubt that cooking and food preparation at home allows you to have greater control over the ingredients and what you ultimately consume. But it's unrealistic to think you will never dine out in restaurants or order takeout when you're busy and on-the-go. It is important to enjoy this aspect of life as well. A night out with a friend or your family is a special time and allows you to try types of food you may never eat at home. So there is no need to fear eating out! You can enjoy unique, delicious foods and not feel guilty afterwards.

The most important part is to consider the same principles you would when dining at home:

  • What are you really craving? Take advantage of the time out to order something you actually want. Think of ways to balance your choice to get a range of nutrients and so you feel satisfied after. Also pay attention to your hunger and fullness cues.

  • Remember the Plate Method. Portion sizes in restaurants are often quite large. Consider a 9- inch dinner plate. Make 1/2 your plate non-starchy vegetables and/or fruit, 1/4 protein, and 1/4 starchy vegetables or grains (think carbohydrates) with healthy fats sprinkled on top. If you have a combination item such as a pasta dish, enchiladas, or a burrito, for example, make half your plate the combination item, and the other half vegetables and/or fruit. This will also enable you to try a broader range of items instead of just loading up on one thing.

  • You don't have to eat everything. Eat slowly and savor your food; because eating out is an experience! When you feel full, ask for a container to take the food home. If it's a busy restaurant and you would rather ask for a to-go container at the start of the meal, that's ok too.

Here are some additional tips for eating out!


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