Tips for eating healthy when out on the town

It’s hard enough to try and eat healthy every day, but even harder when you try to eat the right things while dining out.

Believe me, the last thing you want is to be pressured into eating something bad or have someone asking “Are you on a diet or something?” when you place your order.

So here are a few tips to help you eat well and still enjoy yourself.

Eat a small healthy snack about an hour before you dine, so you don’t crave entrees or nibbles before your meal. Drinking a couple of glasses of water just before you dine also helps reduce hunger.

If you are choosing the restaurant, check the menu first to make sure there are healthy options. Many restaurants now list their nutritional value online, so you can look in advance to see what’s available.

Ignore the bread basket. By not eating bread you avoid the refined flour and the extra calories. Limit alcohol intake by sipping water throughout your meal. This will limit your calories, make you feel better and flush your system with water. You’re also more likely to feel refreshed after the meal. If you’re left craving something more, mix it up with unsweetened iced tea, or add a lime or lemon to your water.

Avoid fried food and you avoid calories. Look for options that are baked, grilled, steamed, poached, roasted or lightly sautéed. Alternatively, opt for low-fat, high-protein options such as chicken, fish or steak.

If you do have an entree, make it a fresh salad, with an oil-based (rather than butter or cream) dressing on the side. The same goes for main courses: always have sauces and gravies served separately, so you can control the amount you eat.

Make sure your side dishes, such as vegetables and potatoes, are steamed or baked. Avoid side dishes like onion rings, chips, potatoes au gratin, or other vegetables baked with cream sauces.

Keep portions small by ordering two entrees, rather than an entree and main meal, then skip the dessert menu and the cheese plate.

Eating out and healthy can be quite pricey, so why not take advantage of RACQ’s Dining Rewards program. By using your RACQ Bank Everyday Account and signing up to Dining Rewards members can enjoy 10 percent cash back at over 400 participating restaurants when you pay with a registered Visa card and pay using the paywave or credit option. Terms and conditions apply.

You don’t have to punish yourself to enjoy a meal out. With a little planning and considered decision-making, you can have lots of fun and your waist and wallet will enjoy it, too.

*Conditions apply. Maximum cash back amount is $100 per eligible transaction made on a registered Visa card only. Only available at participating restaurants. To join, apply. Maximum cash back amount is $100 per eligible transaction made on a registered Visa card only. Only available at participating restaurants. To join, racq.com/diningrewards for details.