Eating out healthily
We all love to eat out occasionally and food delivery services have changed the takeout game! Unfortunately, eating out on a diet can put a pin in your progress, it becomes difficult because it’s too tricky to monitor your calorie intake! If you are counting calories and/or watching your weight, there are a few helpful tips you can follow.
We want to show you that it’s possible to eat out without ruining your diet! The first piece of advice is to, if possible, read the menu in advance. Since we live in the digital age most restaurant’s menus are available online. You will be able to know which meals they serve, and you can choose what fits your diet the best. Choose before you leave the house, too! Mentally preparing yourself like this can help fight the temptation of reaching for any option on the menu.
Carbs are not your friend when it comes to eating out
One thing about restaurants is they love entrées! A lot of restaurants offer entrées that are very high in carbs, think bread rolls and garlic bread. Steer clear of those rich carb delights as they can hinder your progress; they are essentially a waste of tummy space. Save yourself for the main event!
Be mindful of how the food is cooked, aim to choose meals that were either baked or grilled. Fried food is the worst option, these foods are so high in calories! One tablespoon of olive oil alone is around 119 calories, and it is 100% fat. A standard baked potato comes in around 190 calories, and a fried potato? Around 365 calories. Potatoes are not necessarily bad for you, but hot chips are because of the oil! Fried food is stripped of a lot of its nutrition, avoid it when possible.
Speaking of carbs, avoid pasta and rice, opt for a juicy steak, chicken, or a fish dish. Essentially, avoid any carb heavy foods, and do not be afraid to ask your waiter what the low calorie or low carb recommendations are. Instead of eating chips/fries, rice and other carb abundant sides, substitute it with veggies and salad!
Try to order before anyone else. It is common to second guess your order and you can be subconsciously influenced by others! Be strong and try to get in quick, if you review the menu before you arrive at the restaurant, you’re primed and ready to order! If you are having a sit down 2 course meal then choose a starter and your main because even though entrées can be carb heavy, they are typically not going to be as high in calories than a dessert would be. Desserts are laden with fat, carbohydrates and copious amounts of sugar so beware.
Eating out on a diet
Have you been invited to a dinner party? You might be getting a little nervous around the amount of food that will be in front of you, which is understandable! You don’t want to lose any progress so try not to stand near the food table! It is so easy to pick all night, but it’s not going to be good for your diet. Just be sensible with the foods you choose to eat and be mindful of the portion. Portion control is hard to monitor when eating out, a lot of restaurants will give you a serving size that is much larger than it needs to be.
You should minimise your alcohol intake. Alcohol is filled with empty calories and although tempting, especially at a party, minimise it as much as you can. Consider drinks that are lower in calories. You can try sugar-free drinks or light beer, aim to find low-calorie alcoholic beverages that you genuinely enjoy, that way it will feel like less of a diet. The more alcohol you consume the less fat you use because your body treats alcohol like a carbohydrate.
If you have a sweet tooth, you might want to have an after-dinner tea or coffee with some sweetener, it’ll help your sugar cravings, but you won’t actually be consuming sugar. Go easy on the milk! Aim to choose low-fat milks. Stay away from cappuccinos and lattes.
If you arrive to a restaurant absolutely famished then you will likely overeat, everything looks so appetising on a menu, even more so when you are hungry! So, to keep you on track and stop you from overeating, drink water before your meal to fill your tummy a little bit. Drinking water with your meal also helps the digestion process, allowing your body to break down food so it can absorb its nutrients.
The most important thing when eating out on a diet is to stay consistent and enjoy your night! When you are at a restaurant, you are surrounded by tempting aromas and visually pleasing meals. Remember why you have decided to go on a diet and try to make some healthy choices. Remember to stay in the moment, enjoy the company and your delicious meal! Good luck and have fun!