What's The Polite Way To Ask For A Healthier Substitution At A Restaurant?

Eating at restaurants is one of the top sabotagers of otherwise diligent healthy eating, especially when you're on a streak like we are. Fortunately, speaking up when it's time to order can save you more fat and calories than you could possibly imagine — the author of this post has worked in restaurant kitchens and has seen some butter, man — while still enjoying that restaurant-quality dinner.

Use as few words as possible to inquire with the server if it would be possible to leave off any extra oil or butter, or go easy on the cheese. Of course it's possible, and the server can help make that happen. You don't have to launch into a whole story about how many pounds you're planning to shed by Arbor Day, and it won't help to explain that butter has a lot of fat or to hang your head in shame. It's, like, incredibly easy for the kitchen to lighten up your dish; your dining companions will forget about it immediately (provided you kept it short); and, as always, being gracious with a server can go a long way. Repeat:

"Light on the _____ if that's possible."

"Sauce on the side, please." <-- this is a really useful healthy eating tool. Use it well.

"Could that be cooked without the _____?"

And if you seriously don't want to be that person at the table, excuse yourself to the restroom after the server leaves and explain at whatever length you wish your appreciation for the kitchen's light hand and withholding of sour cream.

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