5 tips for eating healthy while eating out
Dining out is something that should be enjoyed by everyone. You get a break from cooking, you get to socialize, you get to enjoy different foods. It's typically a win for everyone. For some though it can be a stressful situation. What do you order? Can I resist temptation? Will my friends make fun of me? Will they peer pressure me? Will my meal be good?
Which is why I've put together a few tips to help you have a healthy, stress free dining experience.
1. Check out the menu ahead of time. If you get to choose the restaurant, you can choose it based on a restaurant you already know will have healthy options. If not, make sure to check out what they have to offer ahead of time so you have an idea of what you can order.
2. Eat a small snack at least 30 minutes before going out to eat. It takes your body 30 minutes after taking your first bite, to recognize that you aren't hungry anymore. If you go to a restaurant on an empty stomach, you may end up overeating by the time your body acknowledges you're full. So put a little something in it before hand (think a few raw nuts, some veggie, or piece of fruit) that way you're less likely to overeat.
3. Drink up buttercup! Not on alcohol that is. Water, water, water! Drink water before your meal and during your meal which will also help to keep you feeling full. If you do choose to have alcohol with your meal, remember that those calories count too! Be conscious of how many glasses you have as well as what you are choosing to order. If choosing to have a few beers with burgers, maybe skip the bun and hold the fries to balance out the carbs. Make sure to drink a glass or water between beverage to keep you hydrated as well!
4. Don't be afraid to ask for substitutions or modifications! Remember that you are paying for your meal. If they don't offer an option that meats your diet, ask them to modify it. Things like asking for dressing on the side, hold the cheese on the burger or sandwich, use a lettuce wrap instead of a bun, hold the mayo and substitute salad or steamed veggies for fries can save you a ton of calories!
5. When you're done, be done! Ask them to take your plate away, give you a box to box up your leftovers, or move your plate to the other side of the table. This will help to keep you from going back in for "just a few more bites" ;-)
Enjoy yourself when you go out but don't think of it as a free for all. Yes you can indulge a little but by making conscious healthy decisions, you'll feel much better after you leave.