(NAPSA) - Many struggle every day to maintain a healthier lifestyle. So how do you avoid going overboard when you're eating out? The following tips from Nicole Quartuccio, R.D. and Director of Nutrition with Healthy Dining Finder, will help you make choices to keep moderation top of mind when there are so many menu options out there.
Swap out less nutritious side dishes (fries, mashed potatoes, etc.). Most restaurants offer fresh fruit, vegetables, side salads, whole beans and whole grains. If you've been too busy to prepare them at home, now's your chance to enjoy them.
Choose dishes flavored with herbs and spices rather than rich sauces, gravies or dressings.
Or order these toppings on the side and use them sparingly.
Don't arrive at a restaurant overhungry...you'll be more susceptible to high-fat, high-calorie breads/spreads, chips and appetizers that you might otherwise resist.
Start your meal with a small salad or broth-based soup to help curb your hunger.
To find restaurants in your area-or anywhere in the U.S.-that offer a selection of Healthy Dining options and corresponding nutrition information, visit www.HealthyDiningFinder.com.
If the restaurant you're dining at offers it, head right to the section of the menu that offers healthier options. "You don't have to sacrifice flavor or going out to eat because of your lifestyle. As with most things, moderation is key," said Dana Tilley, vice president of product innovation for Chili's Grill & Bar. "Chili's was one of the first restaurants to create a separate section of its menu dedicated to items with fewer calories and lower fat, called the Guiltless Grill menu. The items in this section of the menu are a healthier take on the Southwestern-inspired, classic American tastes that have made Chili's a well-known favorite, all with less than 750 calories."
Make sure you choose flavorful menu items that make eating out in moderation fun and easy. You don't have to give up on your lifestyle to enjoy a dinner out with your friends and family. For more information about the Guiltless Grill, visit www.chilis.com.