In this short article I would like to show how one can go to any restaurant and still eat in a healthy manner. The motivation behind this article is one of personal experience. As someone who loves food and trying out new places to eat I have encountered many menus with a variety of choices and have managed to choose the healthy options.
Health and fitness enthusiast are often caught between social dilemmas in terms of eating out with friends and staying healthy and in good shape. Eating out with friends is something we all enjoy doing, however we often have an internal battle with ourselves, as we know that eating out often means sugar and fat loaded foods that we just don’t need or want. This internal battle can lead to us turning down an invite to socialize with friends or in other cases just not eating at all at the restaurant. Whichever option you choose it is not the best social option and this can lead to “FOMO” fear of missing out.
In this short article we will explore tips and strategies of eating out at any restaurant and maintaining a healthy eating plan and still feel included in our social groups.
Tip 1: If you know the restaurant that you will be eating at then have a look online for the menu and have a quick browse at the menu options. By doing this you will prevent finding yourself in a dilemma at the restaurant and making an irrational decision.
Tip 2: Never go out to eat in a state of hunger as this can lead to bad choices and overeating.
Tip 3: Drink a glass of water before any meal.
Tip 4: Most places will have veggies in some form or another. Start off by looking for salad options but be aware that many places will have fancy salads that include many foods that are not too good for our waistlines. Do not feel shy to ask the waiter to add or take out an item from the menu to suit your needs. An example of this would be if there is a chicken salad on the menu but it also has feta cheese and a blue cheese dressing then simply ask for no salad dressing on the salad and to please take out the feta. If for any reason there are no salad options then have a look to see if any food come with veggies or come as a “side order”. In this case you can ask the waiter to please bring you a “side order” of these veggies.
Note: “side order” veggies could often be prepared using added butter or oils so ask the waiter to please not fry or add any of these things to them when prepared.
Note: Ask for salad dressing on the side, as salad dressings are often pure oils and sugar loaded. One can substitute the dressing for balsamic vinegar and/or olive oil with salad and/pepper to season.
Note: you may ask the waiter to chop and change the menu as you wish.
Tip 5: Have a look for a lean protein source including:
• Fish or seafood
• Chicken breast
• Turkey breast
• Lean cuts of meat
Note: Make sure that these proteins do not come with a dressing or topping such as cheese or sauces as these add high calories to the meal.
Note: Ask the waiter how these proteins are prepared. If the dish is fried then ask to have it backed or roasted.
Tip 6: Have a side dish or salad or veggies instead of fried chips
Note: Most side dishes with a main course come with a starch of your choice of either fried chips, potato or rice. Depending on your nutritional goal, stick with the un-fried option or a side salad. If one chooses to have a potato then ask the waiter to not put butter/margarine or cream on top.
This part of the meal is not a necessity. However if one does choose to have dessert then sticking to fruit is your best bet but try not eating all of it.
Tip 7: Having a cup of coffee/tea at this point is the best way to not feel left out if everyone is nibbling on something.
Written By Amir Laufert: www.facebook.com/amirlaufertnutrition