Healthy Eating Tips For the Restaurant
Many people do amazing when it comes to eating healthy … at home, but put them into a restaurant and that goes out the window! From massive bar tabs to doubling their dessert, eating out on the town doesn’t have to break the nutrition bank. Check out these healthy eating tips from our guest author to control your nutrition even during a night on the town!
Implement these healthy eating tips
Eating out can be really tough when you are trying to stick to a healthy eating plan or diet. But don’t let a night out de-rail all your hard work.
Try some of these 7 easy to implement tips so you can still enjoy eating out while continuing towards your health and fitness goals:
1. Limit Sugar
The average person in America consumes over 90g of sugar per day! That’s huge and it’s massively contributing to our growing obesity epidemic!
Eating out however doesn’t have to add huge amounts of sugar to your day. Simply opt for water or sparkling mineral water with lemon instead of a soda.
Ask for the sauce on the side and use sparingly. Try to go for just olive oil & balsamic vinegar instead of sugar-laden salad dressings and either skip or share dessert.
Alcohol can be a tough one as it’s often considered social and hard for some people to give up. If you can swap your alcoholic drink for sparkling water then great!
If not, try to drink it earlier in the evening when possible and drink lots and lots of water on either side of your alcoholic beverages. This will give your body a chance to flush out the alcohol and so minimize the negative effect on your body.
Also, try and limit yourself to just two drinks and try to avoid sugary mixes like soda or juice.
3. Healthy Fats & Protein
Choose meals with lots of healthy fat and protein or add a side of them to fill you up, keep you full and make it easier to avoid dessert and highly processed carbohydrates like bread or white rice.
Think butter, avocado, olive oil, nuts, seeds, or a lean protein like chicken or fish. These foods will keep you in fat-burning mode way better than consuming highly refined carbohydrates!
Vegetables are high in fiber and awesome at any meal especially when you are out. It’s super easy to ask the waiter to replace the potato or rice with an extra serving of steamed vegetables or a green salad.
5. Be a Picky Eater
Going out for dinner is the one time you want to be a picky eater. Make sure you ask for what you want. Most restaurants are happy to oblige all sorts of requests.
If you are feeling uncomfortable asking for a food swap politely let your waiter know that you have food allergies and so they will be able to help you out. It’s an easy way to explain why you would like a food swap without having to go into any details of your diet plan.
6. Try These Food Swaps
- Ask for double or even triple the vegetables instead of the potato
- Ask for sauce on the side
- Choose meat grilled not deep-fried or in a pie
- Ask for steamed rice instead of fried
- Choose the fruit salad for dessert
- Go with two appetizers instead of an entrée or share a main dish with a friend
- Go for tomato-based sauces rather than the creamy sauce
7. Drink Water
Try drinking a large glass of water before your dinner arrives. It will help to make you feel full faster and people who drink more water generally consume fewer calories.
In several studies drinking a glass of water before each meal leads to participants feeling more full and eating fewer calories and losing more weight than those that skipped the water.
Also, water can actually aid in digestion and help speed up your metabolism. Studies have shown that even being 1% dehydrated can cause a significant drop in your metabolism.
So skip empty calories in sodas and just add more water.
And remember, even if you do have an indulgent night out where you forget all the tips above don’t beat yourself up.
Start back on track the next day! We are all allowed to fall off the wagon sometimes but if you get back on track and don’t let it derail your whole week you will find you can still smash your health and fitness goals.
Do you have any healthy eating tips that are not on the list above? We would love to hear your ideas in the comments below.