Cooking and eating at home is the best option for sure, but it’s not easy to do it every day. For most people, dining out is necessary and can be a bonding experience with family, fiends, coworkers, etc.

Here are some easy steps to follow when you’re dining out:

 1. Eat a small meal one hour before you eat in a restaurant. This will help prevent overeating and will help you choose the best options. If you go to a restaurant when you are starving, you may not make the healthiest choices.

I like to drink a serving size of IsoFast whey protein from MHP and some fruit before dining out. This helps me to feel full when I order my meal at the restaurant, and I order the best option to follow my goals.

2. Order a salad. Start with a salad with greens and tomatoes and skip the dressing. You can add some vinegar and small portion of olive oil. Some fat-free dressings are loaded with sodium, sugar etc.

 3. Drink water. Drink a glass of water before you order your meal. Sometimes we are really thirsty when we think we’re hungry!

4. Order a lean protein. Order chicken, lean meats, fish without dressings— just plain. Select lean cuts that are grilled, steamed or baked, and skip heavy, creamy sauces. These just add unnecessary calories!

 5. Check the portions. You can share or just leave some of the big portions that restaurants normally serve. A good rule to follow is that the lean protein of choice should be about the same size as the palm of your hand.

 6. Lean protein and salad. Order the lean protein and salad and try to skip the starches. Don’t eat the bread, the croutons, potatoes or white rice, and just add this type of carb in your pre- and post-workout meals— not in your dinner.

 7. Eat slowly. The more you chew on your food, the easier it will be for your body to digest it. This way, you will feel fuller and more satisfied with less food.

 8. Fruit for dessert. Finish your meal with berries! Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries can be a good and delicious dessert and will add some healthy carbs to your meal.

9. Coffee. Order a coffee if you feel that you need a sugar treat. You can add some stevia and you’ve got a delicious, calorie-free dessert.

10. Enjoy your meal. Relax and enjoy your meal without guilty thoughts. Eating in a restaurant can be healthy and delicious— you just need to make smart choices.