3 Ways To Make Your Diner Meal Healthier
There are a lot of reasons to love the American-style diner. They tend to be open both early and late (or even 24 hours a day) and offer a variety of types of meals at all times of day, so if you're craving breakfast at 3 pm or dinner at 7 am, they can accommodate. On top of that, a lot of diner-style food is indulgent, a perfect choice if you're in the mood for comfort food. With that said, you don't want to ruin your diet every time you drop into your favorite local diner, either. Luckily, there are some easy ways for you to shave a few calories off your favorite diner meals so they can fit into your diet more easily.
If there's one thing that you can count on seeing on a diner menu, it's the breakfast platter. It usually contains some combination of eggs, breakfast meat, and bread or baked goods, possibly with a side of hash browns. It's also usually over-sized. Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but a giant breakfast can weigh you down instead of giving you the fuel that you need to get through your morning.
Instead of a breakfast platter or combo, order for your breakfast in sandwich form. It's hard to oversize a breakfast sandwich – you can only fit so much egg, cheese, and meat on the roll or bagel. To cut calories even further, ask for egg whites, turkey bacon or sausage, and low-fat cheese, and tell them to serve it on a whole-wheat English muffin instead of a croissant or bagel.
Chicken-fried steak and mashed potatoes is a staple at diners across the country, but between the country gravy, deep-fried batter, and the butter and cream in the potatoes it can be heavy on your stomach. Not only is this dinner high in fat, it's usually also loaded with salt, which isn't great for your blood pressure.
Luckily, you can shave off some calories and salt with a few simple adjustments. Ask the cook to skip the batter and pan-fry the meat instead of deep frying it – you'll get a tasty, crispy steak with far fewer calories. Substitute a baked potato for the mashed potatoes. Ask the server to bring the gravy for the steak and any toppings you want for the potatoes on the side – that way, you can use just what you need without overdoing it.
Ice cream is an indulgence no matter how you order it, but sometimes it's OK to indulge yourself a bit. After all, it's better to give yourself a little bit of something sweet now than to cave in and binge on a lot of it later. But if you're trying to keep your calories under control, a full-fat diner-style milkshake is probably not the best way to go.
Instead, opt for a root beer float. There's no way around it – this is still a high-calorie treat. But it's bound to be lower in calories than a milkshake, and it's easier to make adjustments that will trim off a few more calories – like using diet soda or opting for a smaller-than-average scoop of ice cream – than it would be to make calorie-saving adjustments to a milkshake.
Sticking to a sensible diet shouldn't mean depriving yourself of all your favorite comfort foods. Instead, focus on making health-conscious adjustments that allow you to enjoy the tastes you crave without compromising your health or your waistline. Places like Belgian Waffle & Pancake House can help you find the right meal.