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You are determined, exercise daily, and even control your portions for healthy meals at home. You have been very kind to your body and probably have even noticed that you are losing weight and your energy has slowly but surely increased. There's just one slight issue, you would like to go out for dinner this evening. Don't stress! You can do it. After all, you have been behaving very well lately.

Don't know what’s healthy and available at one of your regular restaurants? Just follow these tips and you will be eating healthy, without going overboard, in no time. This list of easy guidelines will help you when you are eating out at specific types of restaurants.

moscow Mexican — When the waiter brings the refilling plate of chips, try taking ten chips and breaking them into multiple pieces before scooping salsa on top of them. Grilled dishes like fajitas or grilled fish tacos are always an excellent choice for your entrée. When you are given a choice of beans, take the black beans over refried beans. The black beans have high fiber and low calories whereas refried beans are like your worst enemy, cooked with way too much saturated fat. Beef is also another no no because it is plagued with tons of fat and calories. Either stay away from or just have a little dollop of sour cream as well.  

Italian — A filling appetizer is broth based soup, which helps you eat less of your main dish. Minestrone is a favorite because it has many vegetables in it, but if you are craving pasta, just ask for whole-wheat pasta in tomato sauce, which is lower in fat and calories than creamy white sauce. Alfredo sauce is probably the worst choice you can make. It is filled with saturated fat that will not stop to clog your arteries. Veggie topped thin crust pizza with limited cheese is another healthy entrée. If you are given the choice of plain bread and butter soaked garlic bread, take the plain bread.

Indian — Tandoori shrimp, chicken or fish are great grilled meals, as well as grilled chicken tikka. Small-portioned curried veggies, steamed rice, and naan are healthy sides. Indian food also offers a wide variety of vegetarian dishes; just make sure to stay away from fatty entrees such as coconut soup, korma, and samosas.

Chinese — Chinese food doesn't always have to turn out to be a regretful meal for the calorie and sodium intake reducers. A great appetizer can be wonton soup, slurp the broth up and leave the fatty wonton in the bowl. Always ask for more vegetables than meat in any entrée or just have steamed or stir fried veggies by themselves. A tennis ball sized amount of steamed brown rice is your only option and don't even think about anything that is fried and that has sweet sauces. Moo Goo Gai Pan is a good decision to make, given its light sauce and healthy white meat chicken and vegetables.

Japanese — You're in luck! The majority of Japanese items on the menu are small portioned, light meals. Edamame or a cup of miso soup is a nice starter. Miso is both low in calories and fat, and it has healthy bacteria that help the digestion process. Sushi is a low-cal, filling meal, just remember to stay away from the rolls that have cream cheese or tempura, an automatic raise for calorie intake. Brown rice is a good substitution for tempura or steamed veggies. Using chopsticks also help by forcing you to take smaller, more savored bites.

Just remember, when you are planning to eat out, make veggies your top priority and meat like a side. Steamed or stir fried vegetables, grilled or baked lean white meat, whole grain pasta, bread, and rice, and broth based soups as well as tomato based sauces are your best choices when eating out. Portion can be your best friend, or worst enemy, so keep in mind that it is a great idea to split your meal in half before it even touches your lips. One half is for the restaurant and the other you can take home for leftovers.

Bon Appétit!


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