Yes, you can eat healthy even when you’re out at restaurants! Here’s what to do:
1) Choose local businesses over chain restaurants. With chain restaurants, there’s too much of the unknown surrounding your food. Some of the items will be shipped in bulk from far away. Most of the meat is factory-farmed, and the produce is likely genetically modified and / or sprayed with pesticides. With local restaurants, you can find out very quickly exactly where your food came from (and sometimes even the name of the farmer who grew it!), and how the ingredients were grown.
2) Pick one or two indulgent items – only one or two. Mr Science and I love calamari, but if we get it to share, I like to choose a healthier appetizer on the menu to go with it. If you deprive yourself too much when you go out, you’ll end up feeling resentful, so it’s really important to enjoy yourself! Just don’t go too crazy 😉 I like to have a healthier main meal with a more indulgent appetizer and dessert, myself.
3) Do some research ahead of time. Find out the type of foods that are on the menu so you can plan ahead accordingly. Read up on any reviews – maybe you would normally indulge in a juicy steak, but a couple reviews say that it’s not the type of place specializing in red meat. Learn which items on the menu aren’t quite so amazing, so that when you’re following Recommendation #2, you’ll only indulge in the very best.
4) Tell your dining partner you want to eat healthy. Depending on who you’re with, this one can be tricky, but if it’s friends or family, they’ll generally understand and be happy to acquiesce. Explain that you’d like to have a healthier meal when you’re choosing the restaurant so you can agree on a place together that serves healthier fare. Your dining partner might also have a great suggestion for a healthy meal that they’ve had at that restaurant before and enjoyed!
5) Drink water every other glass. It’s tempting to go nuts on the sangria or beer, but you’ll save yourself a lot of calories – and maybe a headache! – by drinking water in between your alcoholic beverages. Drinking more water will fill you up faster, and it will keep your mind clearer so you won’t be as tempted to order the triple chocolate molten cake with caramel sauce.
6) If you’re with a group, try to be the first to order your meal. Many studies have shown that when people order an indulgent meal before we’ve placed our order, we’re much more likely to change our minds to something more indulgent ourselves! Try to order first so that you aren’t too tempted to give in to peer pressure and change your order last minute.
How do you eat healthy when away from the home?
If you want to learn more about healthy eating and how to incorporate a nutritious diet into your busy lifestyle, please contact me to make a nutrition consulting appointment.