The key to having fun and eating out is PLANNING AHEAD That way you don’t take forever picking an entree -_-, and you happily select something satisfying and healthy/low calorie :). I always look up restaurant menus before going out and make my selection. Sometimes, I even call ahead of time to see if substitutions can be made (I know…I’m crazy). Some ways to eat out smart are:
- (Obviously) drink water, unsweetened tea or coffee only
- Suggest going out for breakfast/brunch. It is SO easy to eat healthy at this meal because you can get a veggie or seafood eggwhite omelet + whole grain toast + side of fruit + coffee/tea.
- Lunch: Suggest going to a food court where your friends can get what they want, and you can get a soup, salad/sandwich at Boudin. Or if EVERYONE wants to go to In-N-Out, save money and calories by ordering one hamburger with less condiments instead of a value meal. (Chances are someone won’t finish their fries, and you’ll get one or two!)
- Dinner: When going to places without published nutrition facts, stay safe with salads! Order your dressing on the side, and take note how much you add. I woudn’t worry about the vegetables, but estimate how much cheese and nuts are used. Also, avoid large pasta dishes and choose entrees featuring lean protein like "grilled salmon fillet" or "lemon herbed chicken." Usually they include a side of vegetables and some rice (which you can choose to eat/not eat).
- BE SOCIAL! Talk a lot during your hang-out sessions. That way, you might not even have time to finish your larger-than-life entree from Cheesecake Factory and can take it to-go (I hate wasting food)
- Make it worth going out to eat, and try some place new!
Hope this helps! I know, eating out can be stressful, but spending time with friends is so important. You may not get the chance when Fall Quarter starts again…