Eat Smart

Guide to Eating Out: The Healthy Way

When it comes to ordering food, it can be very tempting to say “screw it” and cross to the dark side of getting greasy, fried foods. You look back on your empty box of food regretting the decision you have made and wonder why you even attempt to go to the gym. Indulging is definitely okay from time to time, but you can still enjoy delicious healthier meals when you go out to eat or order in. Eating healthier can still be just as satisfying and doesn’t mean you have to eat a bland salad with no dressing. Here are some ways to still enjoy your favorite restaurants without falling into the trap of overeating and giving into those nasty cravings.

Some helpful hints to consider:

  • If you are worried about overeating a large-portioned meal, ask your waiter to put half of it in a box before they serve it to you. This way, you have a second meal ready to take home and you won’t have to embarrassingly unbutton your jeans at the table.
  • Try to drink a full glass of water before your meal arrives. Many times, our bodies confuse hunger and thirst, so it will be much easier to eat the right amount if you do this.
  • Skip the bread bowl. Although it will be hard to resist, order a veggie-based appetizer or low calorie soup if you can’t wait for your meal.
  • White grains in your entree? Make it whole wheat please!

Cheesecake Factory

Ever heard of the “Skinnylicious” menu? With such a huge menu at this restaurant, it’s so hard to choose something healthy. However, from personal experience I can confirm that the “Skinnylicious” menu, is in fact, amazing. Some fabulous choices include the salmon with assorted veggies or roasted pear and blue cheese flatbread with caramelized onions and pecans. Mmmmm. The portion sizes are much more controlled and they provide a calorie range for each menu item. If you have a meal that you love at Cheesecake, go for it. Just make sure you eat a reasonable portion…and if you do order cheesecake, split it between a few friends (a single piece is often more than 1,000 calories).

Avoca Mexican Grill

Instead of delving into that giant guac and meat-filled burrito, try a customized burrito bowl. By eliminating the tortilla, you are already getting rid of some unnecessary calories. The burrito bowls at Avoca have a portion of Mexican rice, tomatoes, lettuce, black beans, and salsa. Feel free to add some grilled chicken or grilled shrimp for some protein, or maybe go vegetarian for the night and skip it. But this time, say no to the guac and sour cream. If you are ordering in and have any plain Greek yogurt in your apartment, it acts as a wonderful and healthier alternative to those high-calorie sauces.

King David’s

Although you may feel as if Greek and Middle Eastern food is generally always healthy, many of the dishes contain loads of oils and cheese.  Instead of going for that greasy lamb gyro, try ordering the “vegetarian plate” which has hummus, babaganouge, tabbouleh, and falafel. Another delicious option is the “Amin Special” which is a plate made up of grilled chicken marinated in spices and herbs with tomatoes, mushrooms, hummus, tabbouleh, and Greek salad!

Happy eating!

By Sarah Kinzler