Eating Healthy: the Basics

1. What is a healthy breakfast?
2. What is a healthy lunch?
3. What is a healthy dinner?
4. How much should I weigh?
5. How many calories should I be eating?
6. What is the best way to lose weight?
7. How can I keep my weight loss goal in mind and stay motivated?
8. What is a healthy weekly weight loss?
9. How to set weight loss goals and make them happen
10. How to keep a food diary, and why it is essential to successful weight loss
11. Are all fats bad for you?
12. Are saturated fats bad for you?
13. Are unsaturated fats good for you?
14. Are carbohydrates bad for you?
15. Is fiber good for you?
16. How to read nutrition/food labels
17. How to plan your weekly menus
18. Why should I eat less salt?
19. What do the sodium (salt) numbers mean on food labels?
20. What is The Mediterranean Diet?
21. Why eating vegetables is good for you
22. Why eating fruit and nuts is good for you
23. Why are cereals and whole grains good for you?
24. What are legumes, and why are they good for you?
25. Why is eating fish good for you?
26. Which fats and oils are good for you?
27. Are dairy products good for you?
28. Which meats should I not eat?
29. Is drinking alcohol good for you?
30. Is it important to measure your ingredients?
31. Are snacks good for you?
32. How to choose the right portion size
33. Can you lose weight with a smaller plate?
34. Eat healthier by cleaning out your pantry
35. Which oils and fats should I keep in my pantry?
35. Which oils and fats are good for you - and when should I use them?
36. Which carbohydrates are good for you?
37. What is the best chicken or turkey for you?
38. Are dairy products good for you?
39. Which nuts and seeds should I eat?
40. Is red meat like beef or pork bad or good for you?
41. Is eating dessert good or bad for you?
42. Is drinking soda bad for you?
43. Is drinking coffee bad for you?
44. How can healthy food taste good? Part 1
45. How can healthy food taste good? Part 2
46. How to eat healthy while eating out
47. Are vitamins and supplements necessary to eat healthy?
48. How to eat healthy while traveling


Eating Healthy: the Basics

How to eat healthy when eating out

Coconut Shrimp

While having dinner with friends recently, I was asked about how to eat out. What should someone look for when choosing a meal? It's easy when you are at home and can weigh your food. When you are looking at a menu it can be tough to know whether what you are reading will come out of the kitchen as you expected.

The first thing to consider is planning. As I have said many times, being healthy is about having a plan, whether it is what you eat, exercise, or any other factor. Before you go out, know where you're going to go and have a good idea what you're going to eat when you get there. I'm not a fan of fast food, but there are some good choices at fast food restaurants, and most every chain offers information on the nutritional content of their food. They don't do a very good job of this in their restaurants, but most have nutrition facts online. Check their web site before you go, and over time you will build up a list of your favorites.

The same is true of chain restaurants like Chili's, Applebee's and Red Lobster. Interestingly, the meals at these restaurants are often far unhealthier than those at fast food joints. It's probably not a good idea to go to such places without being armed with information about what is on their menus. In some cases meals that look like they might be healthy have thousands of calories as well as more fat and sodium than you can imagine.

So the chain places are pretty easy, because many of them tell you what's in their food (and if they don't, it's not a good idea to go there). What about your local café or favorite restaurant? Fish is usually a great choice. Simple is usually best, and there's nothing better than fresh grilled seafood. Most restaurants will serve you a piece that's about 8 ounces. For a lot of folks this is two servings. The rule of thumb is that 4 ounces of fish or meat is about the size of a deck of cards.

Grilled fish is not the only healthy choice on the menu. Often the best choice on the menu will be a steak. Chefs love to sauce up their fish and the calories in the sauce can be twice what is in the fish. Choosing a grilled steak - filet, hanger steak or a sirloin - can be the best choice. One of the best parts is that restaurants will often list the weight of the steak on the menu, so it's easy for you to decide on how much to eat. If there's a sauce, ask for it on the side.

Don't hesitate to take some home with you for lunch the next day. Some restaurant servings are actually a reasonable size, but most today serve twice or more the amount of food you need. A great strategy is to box the half that you aren't going to eat before you begin eating.