Eating Out Wisely

Eating Out Wisely

Many people I know love eating out at different cafes and restaurants. They love trying out new places almost as much as they love returning to their old favorite spots. They love trying new menu items and discovering new ways to eat the foods they enjoy the most. Eating out can be both a wonderful and very dangerous thing.

In America we are blessed to have restaurants dotting the streets of many streets in towns and cities of all sizes. We are rarely at a loss for places to eat out. One of the greatest things about eating out is that it saves time that many busy people do not have to waste. After spending long hours at our workplaces, few people have the time or energy to return home and cook a gourmet meal. Eating out seems to be a great solution at the end of a long, tiring day.

Eating out can also be great because we can try a wide variety of foods and drinks that we don't have the ability to make ourselves. No one loves eating the same basic foods over and over again, so eating out can be a good way to give our taste buds something new.

However, if we are not careful, eating out can also be dangerous for a couple of big reasons. First, we must use caution in eating out for the sake of our health. Most restaurants and cafes offer huge portions of items that are unhealthy to eat and drink. Eating out often means filling up on appetizers, a main course, a few high calorie beverages, and a dessert to finish off the evening. Think about how many calories you can consume during a meal like this. I am not, of course, saying that we should never enjoy eating out. I am, however, saying that we need to be careful, for our health's sake, about eating out too frequently. We must be careful to watch our choices when we are eating out. Choose healthier items or commit to only eating half of the meal you choose. There are ways of eating out healthily, it just takes conscious effort.

If the meal is planned, take a look at the menu ahead of time and find a meal that fits into your healthy living plan. Salads are a great way to a few servings of vegetables in one sitting. Sauces and dressings have hidden sugars, fats, sodium and calories. If you are monitoring these items, hold the sauces and dressings or ask for them on the side. Eating out can be the same as eating at home if you choose a variety of different foods. Make your plate colorful and be adventurous. Pick a different protein, vegetable or fruit each time.

Another huge reason to be careful about eating out too often is your pocketbook and budget. It is no secret that eating out costs more, on average, than cooking meals in your own home. It is easy to accumulate large bills, especially at nicer places. So be careful that you stick to a budget when you make plans for eating out.

Beware. Eating out can be one of the greatest pleasures or one of the most dangerous things. Enjoy it but do it with caution.

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