Committing to a healthier diet and lifestyle doesn’t have to come at the expense of your social life. If you enjoy eating out on occasion, then don’t worry, you can still enjoy your favourite cafes and restaurants without sacrificing your waistline.
Stay on track with your health and fitness goals with our top 7 tips for eating out below!
1. Look At The Menu Before You Go
The number one tip we have is to read the menu before you get to the restaurant.
Choosing your food and planning your meal ahead of time makes it easier to avoid on the spot decisions you might regret later.
Planning your meal in advance also gives you the opportunity to factor in the calories of that meal into the rest of your day so you can stay within your daily calorie count.
2. Ask To Make A Healthy Swap
In a world filled with people following a wide range of diets most cafes and restaurants will happily cater to what you need in your meal.
So, if you see a meal with healthy base ingredients bar one or two unhealthy additions simply ask if they can be removed or replaced for a healthier option.
Swapping a creamy high calorie dressing for a vinaigrette or fries for extra vegetables or a salad is a simple way to cut out unnecessary calories and eat healthier while dining out.
3. Avoid Fried Food
It could be a vegetable or a healthy protein but if it’s been deep fried turn that option down.
Foods described on the menu as pan-fried, fried, crispy, crunchy or sautéed are usually cooked in high amounts of oil leading to more fat and more calories added to your meal.
Instead of fried food, look for fresh, steamed or grilled ingredients in meals, these cooking methods require less oil which means you can avoid those extra calories and saturated fats.
4. Order Any Dressing or Sauce On The Side
An easy way to keep your meals healthier when dining out is to ask for any dressing or sauces on the side.
Ordering dressing and sauces on the side gives you the control of how much you’ll be adding to your meal. When adding dressings or sauces yourself, you might need less than you thought to add that extra flavor to your meal.
Another tip, when adding sauce to a meal, choose tomato or vegetable-based sauces over creamy or cheese-based options as they’re usually a healthier option with less fat, sodium and calories overall.
5. Order Your Meal First
Although you might not recognise it, other people’s orders when eating out can impact your own as people tend to mimic each other subconsciously.
By ordering first you can stick with your healthy plan and not be swayed by someone deciding to add a side of fries to their meal.
6. Eat Slowly
When eating your meal remember to slow down. It takes around 20 minutes for your brain to register the feeling of being full.
By eating your meal slowly, you can better register how you’re feeling and stop eating when you’re full, not stuffed.
7. Drink Water Throughout Your Meal
Water is great for drinking before and with a meal, especially if you drink it in place of sugary drinks. But water doesn’t only help you cut the calories you consume when eating out, it also helps you feel fuller and aid in digestion.