Five Ways To Cut Calories When Eating Out
Last updated: March 2022
Are you frequenting more restaurants now? You may feel slightly out of practice when ordering while you are living with type 2 diabetes.
How to cut calories when eating out with diabetes
No worries, here are five quick and easy-to-remember tips to cut calories and carbohydrates when eating out so you can enjoy yourself without risking your health!
1: Skip the apps
As tempting as it is to order apps and drinks, main course, and dessert, this is most likely too much food and therefore too many calories. Consider skipping appetizers so that you have enough room for your main meal. Appetizers tend to be battered, fried, saucy and fatty. Going without will help keep you on track!
2: Minus the cheese
A great way to cut calories is to ask for no cheese. Whether it be on pasta, sandwiches, or even salad, cheese has lots of calories in small portions. Am I saying cheese is unhealthy and should be avoided altogether? Of course not, any food can be part of a healthy diet. But if you are eating out, most likely there will be some indulging somewhere along the way and this is an easy way to skip calories without losing much flavor. Cheese is a great source of calcium and protein but also contains saturated fats which should be monitored when living with diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Don’t worry about asking to remove it, wait staff at restaurants are used to making substitutions!
3: Ask for your sauces and dressings on the side
You don’t have to remove them totally but being the one that decides how much dressing or sauce you will add to your entrée is very helpful. Many sauces and dressings contain olive oil or heavy cream, both of which boast plenty of calories for their small servings. Try adding small amounts on your own, tasting, and deciding before dumping on the whole container. You may be surprised how a little goes a long way!
4: Substitute fries for veggies or salad
Often restaurants give you the option to swap for a side salad but it can be just as easy to ask what their house vegetables are for the day. A side of broccolini can be even more filling than fries, while still touting plenty of flavors and decreasing total carbohydrate and calorie intake! You can also ask for your side salad to come out first so that once your main meal comes, you aren’t as starving and will be more likely to portion control.
5: Water, please!
Americans would be shocked to know how many of their daily calories come from beverages. Pop, alcohol, and blended coffee drinks all add up to more calories than necessary and don’t leave that satisfied feeling the way a meal can. When you go to a restaurant, try to stick with water only, adding a lemon if you need a little something extra! Diet pops are calorie-free but are not as hydrating as water and should be limited.
Eating out should be enjoyable and not stressful, hopefully, these hints can help you relax and feel good about your menu choices.
How often do you find yourself craving sweet snacks?