June 7, 2017 – Veterans know the combination of dining out and reduced physical activity can be bad for the waistline as they transition back to civilian life. But that doesn’t mean eliminating date night.
Knowledge and willpower are effective tools for enjoying a delightful, yet healthy, meal. Eating out should be special, not an excuse to over-indulge. Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) empowers veterans to use some basic guidelines to turn a night on the town into a healthier fine-dining experience.
As an added benefit, eating healthy improves mental health. Reduced-calorie diets that include vegetables can help with depression.
When we are dining out, we are going to have more calories, bigger portion sizes, more sodium, more saturated and trans fats, and a higher sugar content – all bad things. But there are different strategies we can use to help monitor that and cut down on those extra calories, fat, sugar, and sodium.
We will explore three ways to make healthier choices during a night out on the town: scouting the menu in advance, creating a healthy, comfortable environment, and being salad-smart.
We’ve covered scouting the menu in advance and creating a healthy and comfortable environment, so let’s move to a tricky topic – being salad-smart.
While you should eat a salad before your meal, it’s easy to be fooled by some high-fat, high-calorie add-ons.
Have any dressing served on the side. Avoid creamy dressings like blue cheese and ranch since they both have 76 or more calories and nearly eight grams of fat a tablespoon. Stick to oil-based dressings you can see through.
Stay away from belly-busting toppings like cheese, dried fruit, deli meats, fried chicken, shrimp, and croutons.
Just because something is called a salad doesn’t always make it a healthy choice. Some Caesar’s, Buffalo chicken, tuna, chef, and taco salads have more calories than a double cheeseburger.
Registering with WWP is a good way for veterans to stay on a healthy path, with access to Physical Health and Wellness events that include adaptive sports, nutrition coaching, and recreational activities. To learn other healthy tips for dining out, visit: http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/Wounded-Warrior-Project-Empowers-Veterans-to-Live-Heathier.