Eating out healthy is possible and far easier than you may imagine. With a few simple tips, eating out doesn’t always mean you have to abandon your resolve to eat well. So next time you’re feeling tired and don’t want to cook or you’re out socialising with family or friends, keep in mind the following tips and you’ll thank yourself when you’re back home satiated and feeling good, rather than feeling bloated, sluggish or even worse, guilty.
Remember “The May Way” is not a diet and eating out is part of everyday life; it’s fun and sociable and there is no need to abandon your health goals alongside a busy social life.
Whilst ultimately, of course, it is important to make good food choices, considering the following eating out healthy tips will help you achieve this more easily.
Eating out healthy can easily be factored into a healthy lifestyle with the following tips
Choose your venue
It’s certainly worth choosing the right restaurant in the first place! Does it have healthy options that allow you to be flexible with your choices, swapping out less healthy choices for vegetables for example? Check out the menu online before you go if time allows and even better, make your choices whilst you have more time to consider the healthiest options without the pressure. You also avoid being influenced by what others are ordering.
If there’s one restaurant to avoid, that’s “all-you-can-eat” buffets. It’s very easy to get de-railed with portion sizes and unlimited supplies. Using a smaller plate and filling half your plate with vegetables or salad will help if you find yourself with no choice.
Think outside the restaurant
Depending on where the restaurant is, could you allow a 10-15 min walk before you arrive? Park a little further and factor a 20-30min brisk walk before you arrive and a gentle stroll back after your meal, which can help digestion.
Know your words
Menus are designed to entice with clever appealing wording. Words like “coated”, “smothered”, and loaded” for example are likely to be very heavy choices. Instead, look for “grilled”, “lightly cooked” or “sauteed” which may be lighter and healthier.
Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. It’s usually very easy to swap out fries for a more nutritious salad or an extra portion of vegetables for example or to ask for a dressing or sauce on the side. You may even be able to order “off menu” if there really isn’t anything that appeals.
Don’t save yourself
If you know you’re heading out for a meal, you might find avoid eating during the day, skipping meals to allow for a “blow out” during the meal. Try not to do this! Even a small snack beforehand will temper your appetite so you don’t arrive ravenous and end up over-ordering.
Eating out healthy….what have I missed?!
What’s your top tip to help make eating out healthy? Share your tips in the comments below.
I find that looking over the menu prior to going to the restaurant helps me make better decisions. I pretty well know what I want to order before arriving.