Dining Out Guide for the XLR8 Eater

By following a few simple guidelines, you can dine out without having to sacrifice good taste and nutrition.

1. Avoid ordering an appetizer. It's a little known fact that some appetizers have more carbs than the main course. Plus, many appetizers are fried and served with heavy sauces which will add to your intake of carbs, saturated fat as well as trans fats and calories. It's not a healthy way to start your meal.

2. Say "yes" to salad. Salad is an XLR8 eater's best friend. Not only will it fill you up so you'll consume fewer carbs overall, but it will also give you a hefty dose of antioxidants which are heart healthy. Be sure to ask your waitress to hold the croutons which will further reduce your carb load. Also, choose your dressing wisely.  You also have the option of using vinegar and olive oil.

3. Make the right entree selection. Go for grilled rather than fried. Not only will you save carbs, you'll also avoid trans fats which are so prevalent in fried foods. Instead, consider asking for a doubles order of vegetables with your entree. By avoiding the starch, you'll be reducing your carbohydrate load. Look for cream based sauces and you'll enjoy a considerable carb savings rather than a tomato base. Lastly, ask for the sauce to be served in a separate dish on the side so you can control the amount you eat.

4. Think about what you're drinking with your meal. By not ordering an alcoholic beverage, you've saved yourself a considerable number of calories. Check out our Guide to Alcohol

5. Do you really need sweets? Try and avoid this and order a cheese platter without the biscuits or a cup of tea.

6. Learn to control your portions. Many restaurants are serving larger quantities of food than in the past. If this is the case, put aside a portion of your entree at the beginning of the meal to take home with you. If you remove it from your plate before you start eating, you'll be less tempted to overindulge.

By following these steps, you can make your dining experiences not only healthy, but enjoyable. Your heart will thank you!