Nutrition 4 Ways to Eat Healthier When Dining Out By Primary Care, September 5, 2017 Your life gets hectic. It can be hard to squeeze in work, household chores, and family obligations — let alone cook a healthy meal. Sometimes, fast food or a meal at your favorite eatery is the easiest course of action. That’s OK — just because you’re eating out doesn’t mean your food has to be unhealthy. Next time you’re at a restaurant, remember these tips. Find a UPMC primary care doctor by visiting the UPMC Primary Care website or by calling 1-855-676-UPMCPCP (8762-727). Ways to Eat Healthier at Restaurants Choose healthier food options. Many restaurants have healthy food options on the menu. Head straight for that section and avoid anything that’s breaded, fried, crispy, or buttered. Instead of fries as your side dish, choose veggies, fruit, or a salad. If you get a salad, ask that dressing come on the side and use it sparingly. Control your portions. Many restaurants serve giant portions. Save half your meal for lunch the next day. If you don’t trust yourself, ask your server for a to-go container when placing your food order. When your meal arrives at the table, pack up half of it immediately. Eat slowly. Eating slowly gives your body time to process your meal and lets your brain know when it’s satisfied. Eating slowly lets you enjoy the taste of your food and promotes better digestion. Make dessert a treat, not a routine. While the dessert menu is really tempting you, make it once-a-week treat. It will be better for your healthy lifestyle, not to mention your wallet. If you are busy and eat out often, these tips can help you choose a nutritious meal.