One of my favourite things to do is to go out for a meal – whether it’s Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner. If you live a healthy lifestyle, or you’re on a healthy/clean eating plan it doesn’t mean you have to eat at home all the time, you can enjoy a meal out. You just have to make smart choices….
It can be hard with so many options of where to eat out and it can also be difficult if you don’t have a choice on where you will be going out (e.g. a friend/work organises the meal out) and its not somewhere you would’ve chosen, or for example sometimes all the ingredients aren’t listed on the menu.
These days, most restaurants have a website, which usually includes their menu, so if you want to be prepared, you can always check it out beforehand. If you get to choose the restaurant it could be a great help in choosing one with lots of healthy options.
Another thing to remember when eating out is your portion size. That could be what you have served up yourself, or when out, you decide to have 3 courses rather than 1 or 2.
Here are some general guidelines I tend to follow when eating out:
- Watch your portion size
- If you are going to have 3 courses – share an entree & dessert with someone, or have 2 entrees – one for entree and one for main
- Skip the bread basket
- Swap chips for salad or vegetables
- Don’t be shy to ask questions about a meal or take/swap something over. Most places are happy to help.
- Stay away from deep fried. If you wanted to, you could always ask them if it’s possible to pan fry or grill instead.
- Ask for dressing on the side
- You don’t have to eat everything on your plate. Remember to eat slowly and chew your food. When you are full, stop!
- It’s not just what you eat that you have to be aware of, it’s also what you drink when you are out! If you are going to have a glass of wine, enjoy it with a meal. Make sure you drink lots of water throughout the night as well. Moderation remember!
Something else to remember is if you are only eating out 1-2 times a week, you could use those outings as your ‘treat meals’. I recommend you only be ‘good’ 80/90% of the time. It is OK to have a few treats now and then, so you don’t feel that you are missing out on anything. Just plan your ‘treat’ meals, look forward to them! Listen to your body. For example, sometimes I think mmmm, I might have a glass of wine on Friday night to reward myself for getting through the week. Friday comes and I don’t actually feel like a glass of wine! So guess what, I don’t have one! The same goes with having dessert or chocolate, having whatever your treat of choice is.
Be conscious of your portions and enjoy your treat.
Yours in Good Health,