Eating out. These words are sometimes terrifying when you are trying lose weight or just trying to eat healthy. Going out to dinner is usually a pain point and causes a lot of unneeded stress, so how do we combat that?
My first tip of advice is to re-frame your brain; think about the experience, the fun, the good food, the feelings and emotion you will have that night! Going out to eat is a great way to socialize with friends, spend alone time with your significant other or just have a fun night out! Since you shouldn’t have to avoid restaurants just because you want to eat clean, we’ve come up with five easy tips for eating healthy when you’re eating out:
Research the Menu
Before you venture out to a restaurant, take a few minutes to look up the menu online. That way you’ll have time to think about what healthier options you’ll be able to eat and you won’t feel rushed or stressed out to make a quick decision when you get there.
Ask for Alternate Menus/Cooking Methods
If you’ve checked out the menu and don’t see many healthy options, try to find an alternate menu like one that’s gluten-free or vegan. (You may have to wait till you get to the restaurant to do this since not all menus are available online.) Not every item on a specialty menu may be super clean, but they’ll most likely have options that will better fit your dietary restrictions. If an alternative menu is not available, don’t be afraid to modify your order from what’s on the menu. Most restaurants are pretty accommodating and can switch up just about anything to ‘clean’ up the item. You can easily ask for things to be cooked with certain types of oil instead of butter, you can change the way your protein is cooked (ie, roasted, fried, grilled, etc.)
Double up on Veggies
Instead of ordering fries or a caesar salad loaded with dressing, try getting two sides of veggies instead. Baked sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli and grilled or sauteed veggies are all good options. Besides being healthier, these sides will leave more room for you to enjoy your main dish.
Since many restaurants give you huge portion sizes (think lunch for the next day as well). It’s a good idea to eat slowly so you know when you’re getting full. Chatting with your company is a great way to slow down your meal. After all, you’re paying good money to eat at a restaurant, you should enjoy your food and the company you’re with and not rush to finish eating.
Skip Dessert or SHARE one
As wonderful and delicious as dessert is, it’s not going to help you stay on a clean eating path. Desserts at restaurants are often loaded with sugar, butter and other ingredients you may be trying to avoid so it’s best to skip it. If your group is ordering dessert and you don’t want to be the only one not having any, share a dessert with someone – you will satisfy your sweet tooth and cut your sugar intake in half!
Wine or Beer (Splurge on the 12 dollar glass of wine and avoid a headache)
Skip the juice and try a seltzer (if necessary add a splash of fresh squeezed juice)
Limit to 2 drinks and sip slow 🙂
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