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Restaurant Dining, An Opportunity For Indulgence or Restriction?


Indulgence, Pleasure, Letting Go, Sip and Savor, Relaxing


A Time Of Restriction?

Are you going out tonight to eat? Celebration for a birthday, a promotion at work, or just don’t feel like cooking at home?  How do YOU view restaurant dining?  A moment of indulgence?  An opportunity to order things on the menu that you wouldn’t normally eat or don’t cook at home?  Do you feel relaxed enough to let go and order something “artery-clogging” from the menu?  Or do you feel guilty after your restaurant meal, either from over-eating or ordering the “wrong” foods?


For you is eating out a time of “detente” (relaxation)?  A great occasion to spend quality time with close friends and family, to slow down life and sip and savor the good food?  If you have been reguarly reading this blog, you know me by now,  I don’t like restrictions, especially related to food.  In fact, you can enjoy all the delicious food at various types of restaurants while leaving the door feeling satiated and happy.  (Unless the chef or bad service totally messed up your meal, but that is another story!)

In a recent article published in Huffington Post Healthy Living section, nutritionists were quizzed on what they order when at restaurants.  Check out the article here.  Some nutritionists polled for this article still practice “restrictive eating.”  Fine at home, but why not let go and indulge a bit at a restaurant?  In fact, I think it is possible to reach a good compromise between pleasure eating at restaurants and good health.  Read my comment on Huffington Post article.  See highlights from the comment below on how to “perfect the art” of restaurant dining, in a healthy way:

1.  Listen to your full cues.  Stop just before you are full and box the rest of the meal for home. In many countries you are not allowed to take a doggy bag home. Let’s take advantage of this great habit!
2.  Drink water or sparkling water. Or glass of wine. Avoid soda, diet drinks.
3.  Order the main meal only.  Who can finish an appetizer, main meal and dessert in a typical American restaurant­?  Too much food!
4.  Order salad dressings on the side.
5.  Suggest to the wait staff that you do not want to be rushed thru your meal. Eating slowly is a great way to feel satiated.
6.  Take a walk after your meal.
7.  Finish the meal with a coffee or tea instead of dessert. Or order one dessert with spoons for sharing/tasting.
8.  Bread in moderation and ideally with your meal instead of eating bread before the main dish comes.
9.  Don’t starve yourself before going out to eat, you may over order what you could possibly eat.

Do you have your own suggestions or feedback on healthy restaurant dining?  If so, shout them out in the comment section below.

Here in Joisey (New Jersey) we have been dining out at wonderful Italian restaurants. There is an abundance of great Italian food here in the Garden State! To honor this, will leave you with Un grande Buon Appetito & A Presto! 

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2 Responses to Restaurant Dining, An Opportunity For Indulgence or Restriction?

  1. Neil | Butterfield September 19, 2011 at 15:09 #

    Great advice here, I do believe that economics plays a part in helping people to avoid over indulgence at restaurants today.


  1. Suzanne Saxe-R, Ed.D - August 3, 2011

    RT @mbrighton66 Restaurant Dining, An Opportunity For Indulgence or Restriction?: Eating at restaurants should b…

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