Eating out isn't healthy even though it's an integral part of human social function. Unfortunately, watching your waste and fast food don't exactly go hand in hand.
Next time you're out with friends, here's how to keep the calories under control.
Is it fried?
If it is, avoid it. You do not want fried food. This includes french fries, potato chips and anything soaked in oil.
What meat is it?
If given the choice between beef or chicken, go with the chicken. Lean meats will always be much better for you. Turkey is also another good option.
Is there a low calorie section?
If so, order your meals here. You can then eat your plate at ease knowing exactly how the calories fit into your daily budget. Options here usually come with more veggies, leaner meats and fewer carbs.
What substitutions can you make?
Usually restaurants allow for substitutions. Instead of the fries, go for some steamed broccoli or a side of black beans.
Do they have a low-cal version?
This mainly applies to drink places, like Starbucks. Many come with low calorie options that won't overload you with carbs and fat. Just remember to pass on the whipped cream.
Is there a fruit plate for dessert?
No, this doesn't mean choose the strawberry cheesecake over the regular cheesecake. While fruits are still high in carbs, they fulfill the desires of your sweet tooth while filling your body with fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Is there water?
Then drink water. No soda. No sweet tea. Unsweetened tea is fine. No fruit juice. No lemonade. If you are out for a night of alcoholic drinks, avoid the specialty martinis and highly sugared options. One beer will typically run you anywhere from 90-150 calories, so if you do drink, stick to one and nurse it slowly. If you're looking to get wasted, shots are your best option.
Are there appetizers?
These are the fattiest things on the entire menu. Avoid these at all costs. Spinach dip is not healthy. Bread and butter will overload your calorie budget. Mozzarella sticks are fried.
Does it look unhealthy?
It's probably unhealthy.
In the end, trust your instincts. Deep down you know what's good for you and what isn't. All that's left is for you to exert your own willpower.
Co-host of HeroesForge, founder of Battle to Be Better, gamer, singer and all around happy person.