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Dine out without busting the closet

Whether it’s the new taco place opening on U.S. 278, or the trendy bistro in Savannah, new cuisine temptations are everywhere. Throw in the summer food festivals and it is hard to stay in your current wardrobe.


Luckily, the planners of Hilton Head Lakes understood the need to provide exercise opportunities for every fitness level. Amenities include miles of outdoor walking trails, an indoor fitness center, lap pool, pickle ball courts, membership programming and an 18-hole champion golf course are available without leaving the community.

However, you can’t outrun your fork, so to speak, so before heading out for a lunch with friends or dinner with family, here are a few tips for healthy dining:

Take a sneak peek
Many restaurants offer menu and nutritional information online. If you are making the decision on the destination, check out which places offer healthy options. Review the menu before heading out so you make a good choice when the waitress takes your order.

Budget your calories
Spontaneity is great, but it can lead to a lot of extra calories. If you know you have dinner plans eat a light breakfast and lunch, so you can afford some extra calories with your entrée or glass of wine.

If dinner plans are made at the last minute, try to fit in a walk before you go out or pick a restaurant that offers the ability to take an after-dinner stroll to aid digestion.

Size is everything
Be cognizant of size – of your dinner plate! Restaurants notoriously offer large portions. Even if you plan on taking half of your meal home, the remaining food may still be more than you are accustomed to eating. When your food arrives decide how much you are going to eat and start with the healthiest option on your plate.

Don’t just skim
Today’s menus are great with categorizing the options. Even if you are disciplined enough to only focus on small plates, salads or lean meat headings, carefully read the descriptions of how the food will be prepared and try to avoid the following adjectives: fried, breaded, smothered, alfredo, rich and creamy.

Make it your own
Don’t be afraid to ask for adaptations to the menu to make the selection healthier. Substitutes such as a side salad instead of French fries or grilled instead of fried are reasonable requests and restaurants are usually more than happy to accommodate their patrons. 

South Carolina’s Lowcountry region offers a tremendous variety of delicious dining options. Mastering the above-mentioned techniques can help you enjoy the offerings without worrying about your waistline.

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