When you’re trying to eat healthier it can feel intimidating to go out to a restaurant. Today I’m here to let you know that eating out at a restaurant DOES NOT have to ruin your healthy eating habits.
Create some strategies and guidelines you can use as tools to help you make the best decisions based on your environment, and go from there! A little preparation can help you enjoy yourself without sabotaging your healthy lifestyle. At the end of the day, balance is everything! If you’re going out to enjoy whatever you want and not think about it, then go for it and enjoy every minute of it! Balance it out the next day by getting back on track with your healthy eating regime and include lots of hydration and clean nourishing foods.
1. PREPARE + PLAN AHEAD: Having a plan is key. When I know I’m going out for dinner, I typically eat lighter meals during the day. If I’m going out for lunch, I eat a lighter dinner. It’s all about balance! I like to look up the menu ahead of time for any place I’m going out to eat at. Some street restaurants have their menus right outside so you can check out their food before committing, which is perfect for those spontaneous days. Knowing what options you have ahead of time makes it easier to pick a healthier meal. I know whenever I’m put on the spot and haven’t checked out the menu ahead of time, I feel rushed and order whatever seems appealing in that moment— not a good idea if you’re super hungry! Checking out the menu ahead of time is especially important if you have any specific dietary requirements.
2. BE SELECTIVE: Don’t be afraid to ask for substitutions. Most restaurants are equipped for dietary alternatives nowadays. If a meal looks delicious to you, but there’s something about it that doesn’t work for you, ask them to substitute for something that works better for you.
3. BALANCE YOUR PLATE: I follow a protein-fats-fiber plate. Essentially, I like my meals to contain a good source of protein, healthy fats, and fiber to leave me satisfied. If you’re eating a particular way, when you go out try your best to mimic what you normally would eat at home. The protein-fats-fiber is just what works for me and keeps things easy!
4. BEVERAGES: Skip the sugar and keep hydrated. If I’m going to have a drink besides water, my go-to is a gin and club soda with ice and fresh squeezed lemon or a chardonnay— dry wines will have a lower sugar content. I do love a fancy drink from time to time that’s infused with herbs and or citrus fruits. My trick with those drinks is to swap out the pop or juice [if it’s in the base] for club soda and rely on the herbs/fruit infusions for flavour. It’s actually delicious and I personally prefer it that way!
5. SLOW DOWN: It takes our brain around 20 minutes to receive the signal that indicates we’re full. When you eat quickly, you’re likely going to overeat and feel extremely bloated because you’re brain hasn’t caught up to your stomach yet. When you slow down and take time to enjoy your food and company, you give yourself time to feel full and satisfied. Sit back, keep hydrated, eat slow, and enjoy your company!
I hope you enjoyed today’s healthy tips for eating out! I would love to hear if you have any healthy tips when it comes to eating out. Comment below and let me know what strategies and guidelines you follow, are any of ours similar? Have an amazing day!
Photo Credit: Lovecraft Photography