Getting the Most for Your Restaurant Dollar

Healthy Ways To Enjoy A Restaurant Burger

Burgers and diets don't typically go hand-in-hand. However, there is no reason you cannot indulge.  You just have to make smarter choices. The next time you go out to a restaurant, don't overlook burgers. Just make sure you know how to choose wisely.

Pay Attention To Portions

A number of restaurants offer various burger portion options. Make sure you know what you're ordering. Since the goal is to keep your calorie count as low as possible, choose the smaller selection. Even if you're hungry, you will probably be shocked by the fact that the small selection will satisfy your hunger need, keep your calories low and help you avoid the feeling that comes with eating too much.

Skip The Extra Toppings

Calorie overload kicks in when you start adding toppings on to the burger. Skip additional calories by asking your server to remove them when you order. Heavy sauces are often major culprits for hidden calories. Ideally, the only toppings you want to include on your burger are lettuce, tomatoes, onions and pickles. Avocado also serves as a healthier burger topping. This is also a great time to skip the bun or use lettuce as a bun alternative.

Swap Out The Fries

Burgers and fries are a great match. However, you can easily swap out fries for a healthier side dish. A small portion of fries has more than 250 calories. A side salad with vinaigrette, mixed vegetables or a baked sweet potato with nutmeg and cinnamon all have far fewer calories. Can't give up your fries? Eat the burger first. The burger will fill you up and make it less likely for you to eat the entire portion of fries.

Start Off Lean

Make sure you're starting with the leanest possible cut of meat first. Ask your server what type of beef they serve at their restaurant. If you want something a little leaner, don't overlook the chicken or turkey burger selections. Both of these options can offer reduced calories and contrary to the belief of some, you won't have to sacrifice flavor. With the extra calories you save, you might even be able to add on some extra toppings that you would have otherwise bypassed.

You can have a burger at a restaurant and still remain on track with your healthy eating regimen. You simply have to be more creative. Don't let your diet keep you at home.