I’ve always been that girl at the restaurant. The one that orders six things off the menu and eats them all with no regret, while my friends stick to Caesar salads and ask me how I’m still thin. After spending many years in professional ballet I’ve learned that maintaining a healthy weight wasn’t about measuring precise portion sizes, or eating apples for dinner, or refusing a piece of chocolate. It was about balance. A healthy balance in my eating habits meant a healthy weight, a healthy complexion, and it also meant that a well-managed six course meal wasn’t a big deal.
Eating at a restaurant is a special treat, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t make healthy yet indulgent choices while we’re there. Here are some of my favorite healthy balance restaurant dinner tips that ensure a happy waist line and glowing skin:
When eating at a restaurant always order a salad first. Something green and leafy with a wide variety of veggies will be your best choice. Veggies are fiber-rich and will fill you up while providing vital vitamins. Steer clear of heavy dressings and try olive oil and vinegar as your dressing instead.
Skip the bread basket for obvious reasons (carbs make the skin look dull and drab), and order another appetizer instead. Many restaurants serve shrimp cocktail, salmon spread (hello, Omega-3!), pate, or some other seafood or lean meat alternative which are all healthy protein choices that taste delicious and are nutritious.
Skip ice water (people are always baffled by this one). Cold water takes a long time to digest, because its temperature is way lower than what your body is naturally used to, so it can actually slow metabolism. Ask your waiter for water without ice, or choose sparkling mineral water instead, which aids in digestion.
Skip creamy sauces. Most people love pasta, and I’m no exception. Substitute a creamy sauce (they’re usually made with whipping cream) for a tomato or pesto, tomatoes are rich in skin-loving lycopene and pesto is made with nutritious spinach and omega-6 rich pine nuts. You can also ask for whole-wheat pasta instead of white pasta, and ask for additional vegetables, an extra side of mushrooms and asparagus never hurt.
At the end of your meal splurge on a dessert (it helps to split it with friends!). Because you’ve made so many other healthy choices during your meal it’s ok to satisfy your sweet tooth with a few bites of Tiramisu.
Do you have healthy eating tips? How do you satisfy your hunger with healthier choices? Share with us! We’d love to know.
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