Restaurant chefs want your food to be as flavorful as possible; they want you to leave their restaurant entirely satisfied with your meal and telling everyone you know it was the best you've ever had.  Because of this, health isn't usually the first priority. Of course dining out for a special occasion or event is fine, but if you find yourself enjoying restaurant food more frequently than that, here are a few ways you can make better, healthier choices!

  1. Order sauces and dressings on the side. Some people never take advantage of their ability to special order. Rather than just accepting your salad drenched in dressing, you can choose exactly how much you'd like to enjoy.
  2. Pay attention to how the meal is described Words like "creamy" or "crispy" will usually indicate dishes that the dish has been fried or is loaded with fats and oils. Other words to look out for are: au gratin, deep-fried, pan-fried, breaded, and battered.
  3. Drink more water Beverages have a lot of hidden calories in them and can add a lot of unnecessary heft to your meal. Plain teas and simple coffees are usually a safe addition, but adding too much extra flavor to those too can be unhealthy.
  4. Feel free to take food home Many times, people feel as if they need to eat all the food on their plate. If you make the mental decision to take some of the food to go from the very beginning and take your time eating, you can spare the calories in one sitting and have a tasty meal for the next day too.
  5. Choose your cuts of meat wisely Try to order leaner cuts of meat. Sausage, red meat, and duck tend to be high in fat. Try ordering chicken or fish, instead. Dishes with descriptors like "grilled, steamed, poached, or broiled" are also likely to be prepared in more health-friendly ways.

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Photo Credits: The Cafe Bell, My Interesting Facts