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What to Order in Different Restaurants

Let’s face it – in this day and age, it’s impossible to avoid eating out. According to the National Restaurant Association, American’s dine out four times a week on average. After reading the menu and seeing the delicious food on other people’s tables, trying to resist fattening foods becomes even more difficult. One meal at a restaurant can easily add up to a day’s worth of calories if you’re not careful.

Learning how to navigate a menu is your best solution to this problem. It is possible to get great tasting food without all of the calories if you know what to order at different types of restaurants. Here are my suggestions on what to order for every type of cuisine.

In a Japanese Restaurant

– Ask for brown rice or a half portion of rice and/or light mayo in your sushi rolls to make them lighter.
– Edamame is a great high-protein snack and a way to fill up before your entree.

In a Chinese Restaurant

– Egg drop, hot and sour, or wonton soup. The soups are salty, so stick with a small. It will still be filling.
– Sautéed vegetables this is where you can really fill up.

In a Thai Restaurant

– Salads and summer rolls, which aren’t fried but are instead wrapped in soaked rice paper and filled with veggies.
– Everybody wants pad thai, and that’s fine, but eat the chicken or tofu and vegetables out of it and just have a little bit of the noodles and peanut sauce.

In a Mexican Restaurant

– If you love the tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole, you should have them. Put a handful of chips on your plate and don’t dip back into the basket after they’re gone.
– Ceviche is a great low-fat Mexican dish.

In an Italian Restaurant

– Grilled lamb chops and sautéed shrimp dishes are good options.
– If you order pasta, stick to tomato-based sauces or olive oil and garlic. Add some protein, like chicken or shrimp, and as many vegetables as you can. Some restaurants will give you a half order, and you can share with someone.

In a Steakhouse

– Shrimp cocktail and oysters are great options because they are healthy and low in calories, but they feel decadent and special.
– If you like steak, enjoy it. Most steaks are huge and one person doesn’t need more than four or five ounces, so split one or ask for a small steak. Ask them to slice it, so you can have little pieces. This might make it easier for you to decide when you’re full, because you can pause after each piece.

At a Brunch Buffet

– Look for the few things that actually look high quality, like fruit salad and oatmeal. Even with a little butter and milk, oatmeal is usually the healthiest choice.
– A waffle or a pancake from a buffet can be okay, if you don’t drown it in canned fruit-pie filling, which is full of sugar and artificial color. Instead, use a little butter and a sprinkle of powdered sugar or a little syrup.

In a Diner

– Diners are good for egg-white omelets with vegetables, or oatmeal.
– If you want lunch or dinner, you can usually get good soup or a big salad, a veggie sandwich on whole wheat, or fun foods like peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat.

In a Fast-Food Restaurant

– At a sandwich shop like Subway or Quiznos, get all the veggies – lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, olives, peppers, avocados so your sandwich is more like a salad.
– Most fast-food restaurants have salads. Some have soups, but if the fast-food menu was bereft of healthy food, I would probably just get a small order of fries and a small milkshake and balance it out later.