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Eating out? Order these A-OK indulgences

 
You know what? If we’re taking the trouble to get all dolled up and go out to eat, we don’t want to be worrying about what the healthiest thing on the menu is. We want to eat what we want to eat. And you know what? There’s nothing wrong or guilt-inducing or unhealthy about any of that. Here’s how to eat smart while you’re out and about…and still get what you want.

 

Bring on the bread!

There’s something about the ubiquitous bread basket that always gets us excited…and maybe a little bit guilty. But there’s nothing wrong about the roll or slice of baguette, so go ahead and grab your share. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (instead of dunking) or swipe on a bit of butter (instead of slathering). And if your waiter asks ya if you want a refill? Pass it up and look forward to the main course.

 

To fry or not to fry

Quite frankly, we know fried food is bad for us, but if we want the chicken tenders, you’d best not get between us and the platter. Our reasoning? If you're craving it, chances are you’ll down a lot more bad stuff trying to satiate that craving than if you would’ve given in in the first place. If you’re feeling guilty about digging into the platter solo (or just want a snibblet of fried goodness to start your meal), order it as an appetizer and share with your friends. Yum!

 

Salad. Do we have to?

There are tasty salads out there—hint: opt for ones packed with stuff rather than the bare-bones lettuce-and-dressing variety—but if you’re not feeling the rabbit food, then order something appealing. Having nothing rattling around in your stomach is way worse for your bod than eating a hearty portion of pretty much anything. Still want to be healthy? Look for grilled chicken or fish entrees, and pile on the veggie sides to score tons of nutrients.

 

Weighty choices

Spaghetti carbonara. Steak and mashed potatoes. Some of our favorite meals sit really heavily in our stomachs once our plates have been licked clean. Do your belly a favor and offset the heaviness by adjusting the other items on the plate. Get your fettuccine alfredo as a pasta side rather than a main—chances are that smaller bowl is really all you want, anyway. Eat a few bites of mashed potatoes and savor the creamy goodness, then move on to your mixed veggies.

 

The big one: dessert

Before you look at the menu, ask yourself if you really want something sweet. And if you do, consider what you want: something chocolatey? Something cold? Something fruity? Then peruse the offerings. If what you want isn’t there, don’t be tempted to order. And if it is, go ahead! But remember this: Just because it’s there, doesn’t mean you have to finish it.

 

What’s your favorite meal to order when you’re out at a restaurant?

 

 

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BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 1/16/2014 12:00:00 AM

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If you have a habit of eating a “grab-and-go” breakfast, make sure you choose one that's high in protein, like swapping butter for almond butter on your toast.
 
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