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Eating Out the Healthy Way

Eating out is about having fun and being sociable, however studies have linked dining out with over eating and poor food choices. At this time of year, we are a lot more social and eat out alittle more often than usual as we catch up with friends and family in the lead up to Christmas and attend those Christmas parties.

Many of you have been working hard all year round to lose weight, shed body fat and improve your fitness, you don’t really want to put it all back on just because you have overindulged over the festive period. There are many ways you can get out and socialise without feeling guilty, putting on any unwanted weight, and you don’t need to be eating just salad to do so. The remainder of this article will look at ways you can eat out and enjoy all those lovely foods, whilst making healthier choices so you don’t end up undoing all the hard work you have worked towards. Follow some of these tips and not only will you enjoy your meal more, you will feel satisfied and happy when your finished eating.

  1. Ask for your food to be cooked the way you like it! Most restaurants will cater for individual requirements so if something on the menu is fried ask for it to be grilled, or if something comes with fries ask for it to come with a small portion of rice, some potatoes or even better more vegetables.

  2. Order from the low fat, healthy, light or under 500 calorie section. Most food chains will have these listed on their menus. For example, you can enjoy that pizza you desire at pizza express, and if you order off the 500 calorie section you can have that lovely pizza you’ve been craving without busting the calorie bank.

  3. Don’t feel you need to eat it all! If you have ordered something and the portion looks huge, don’t feel like you have to eat it all. Instead ask for the remainder of the food to be boxed up and you can take it home for the following day. Not only are you saving on unwanted calories your also not wasting your hard earned money.

  4. Try double starters. If there is a lovely selection of starters then order 2 items of these. You will save on calories and often these have enough food to fill you up.

  5. Order a salad for your starter. Studies have proven that if you eat before you order your main course then you will eat fewer calories overall.

  6. Remember!! – Salads shouldn’t be fatty. When ordering salads ask for the dressing to come separately, and look out for salads with coleslaws, pasta salads, potato salads, bits of bacon and fried noodles as these are high in calories.

  7. Read the menu carefully! Any menu description with the words creamy, breaded, crisp or stuffed are likely to be loaded with hidden calories, much of which will be saturated and trans fat.

  8. Skip the bread basket – This will increase those calories drastically. Instead opt for some vegetable sticks with hummus or something along those lines.

  9. Skip fancy drinks. I know its hard when you are out and the cocktail menu looks so appealing, however 1 pina colada can set you back 400+ calories, 1 glass of wine around 175 calories and a pint of beer 200+ calories. If you must drink to be social then option for something like a vodka and slim line tonic or a gin and slim line, this will set you back around 50-60 calories. It is worth noting if you are having a few of these then the calories soon mount up, and doubles need to be counted as a double!!

  10. Drink water throughout your meal. This will slow down how quickly you eat, help you enjoy your food more and all messages get to the brain to tell it your full.

  11. Have a snack before you arrive. If you arrive hungry to the restaurant you are more likely to eat too much.

  12. Avoid all you can eat buffets. People are notorious for over estimating portion size. When we are faced with unlimited amounts of food eating the right amount can be challenging and people always want to get as much for their money as possible, so have numerous helpings. If you are stuck at a buffet choose a smaller plate, this may make you eat less.

  13. Look for tomato based sauces rather than creamy. Tomato and vegetable based sauces help reduce calories.

  14. Watch the desserts. Opt for a coffee or tea instead of dessert, or share a dessert with someone to half the calories. Sorbet will have less calories that ice cream, or opt for a smaller dessert option.

  15. Think about your whole diet! There will be times when you want to eat your favourite foods for pleasure and not worry about whether it is healthy or not. Being flexible about your diet and food choices is linked to better overall health and weight management. If you are following healthy meal plans most of the time, go ahead and treat yourself. An occasional indulgence is not going to kill you results, and it can be good for your mind and soul.

Follow some of these simple tips and enjoy the foods that you want in moderation. There are healthier ways you can have your favourite foods without damaging your fitness progress. It is important to have a healthy relationship with food, so don’t feel like you have to sit in the corner or avoid those catch ups with friends because you are worried about what to eat. One bad meal isn’t going to halt your results, however to much of the high life will.

For more information on diet, nutrition or exercise please feel free to contact us at build a build – and book in for a FREE Lifestyle consultation or tater session.

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