Tips For How To Eat Healthy At Restaurants Without Having To Sacrifice This Treat
While maintaining a healthy diet can be easy when you’re cooking at home, what happens when you want to go out to a nice restaurant for dinner? How do you maintain a healthy diet when dining out? Afterall we can’t be expected to give up the restaurants entirely, can we? Absolutely not, because you don’t need to give up eating out in order to eat right. We are only human. There will be times when you just want to enjoy eating your favorite dish without worrying about whether it will hinder your healthy diet. Flexibility in eating habits and nutrition is associated with greater overall health and, most importantly, a positive relationship with food. Eating out is, no doubt, a great way to treat yourself every now and again. So the next time you go out for a meal at your favourite restaurat, here’s 10 tips on how to eat healthy and right when dining out.
Many of the issues with eating out healthily are invisible. When we buy fruit and veg at home, we buy them and eat them quickly, preserving their goodness. However, mass storage and preparation practices carried out in the hospitality industry often reduces food nutrition, as does the bulking out of food with cheaper, non-nutritional ingredients to maximise profits. A home cooked meal can be 50% better for you! Another invisible enemy is the additives they put in there. They’re put in the food to extend its shelf life or enhance the flavour, such as Msg, and they’re not always mentioned on the menu, even in the smallest of small print!
It’s a good idea to take a glass of good quality mineral water with your meal, from a GLASS bottle, to help get those extra minerals down you, pick mineral salt over its lesser iodised cousin, and add cracked black pepper; it not only adds to the flavour, it’ll increase the thermogenesis.
Let’s find out what the Top 10 tips for eating healthy when dining out is.
1. Stay True To Your Portion Size
Always keep your usual portion size in the back of your mind when you order out. Those fast food joints do pile it on! There are ways around this; order a small or even a child’s portion, share one of those big portions with a friend, or don’t be afraid to ask for a doggy-bag so you can take half home.
2. Try To Stay Away From Desserts
Do you really need a dessert? If so, see if there’s some fruit on the menu, a fresh fruit salad perhaps, or maybe grab a cappuccino with a sprinkling of cinnamon. If you really can’t do without something rich, order one between a few of you and get some extra spoons.
3. Eating Out Is A Treat.
One of the best ways to eat healthy when dining out is to not be tempted to go large just because it’s better value. You’ll save yourself those few extra pennies but cut out a lot of extra calories, fat, sugar and salt.
4. Go For Vegetable Dishes Instead
Instead of that order of fries, go for an order of veggies. Even stir-fried vegetables are better than deep-fried fries, or pick a tasty salad. And if you’re ordering a burger, pizza or sandwich, ask for extra vegetables with it, they’re a great source of fiber.
5. Go For Whole Grains
The choice of being able to order whole grains now is so much better than it used to be. Take advantage, ask if they have a whole grain alternative, or go for things like quinoa or brown rice, barley or oats.
6. Restrain Your Need To Add More Salt
It’s very easy to overdo it when it comes to salt, it’s hard to know how much there is in anything. Avoiding soy or teriyaki sauce is a good rule of thumb, and anything smoked. Asking for sauces to be served on the side is a good option, or go for ‘light’ variations.
7. Ask For The Sauce Be Served On The Side
Actually, asking for sauces to be served on the side should become a habit, don’t be shy to do it. Add seasoning like pepper or herbs if they’re available for some extra flavour and then you shouldn’t need so much sauce.
8. Stay Clear From Sugary Drinks
Our taste buds get used to sugar, and after a while we don’t notice it. Avoiding sugary drinks and replacing them with water is a good way to retrain our taste buds, or drink soda water with a slice of lemon or lime. If you must drink sugary drinks, think of them as a treat and not a staple.
9. Get To Know What You’re Dish Before Ordering ^_^
Another great way on how you can eat healthy when dining out is to know how different dishes are cooked. This will help you when it comes to ordering something healthy. A dish that you know is baked or roasted can be chosen over something deep-fried that surprises you when they bring it to the table.
10. Check Out Their Menu Online
The internet is here to help you! When dining out it’s good to know before hand, so make sure to check out their menu before going there. Most restaurants have their menus online these days, check ahead, have a look at the nutritional facts on their website, compare the calorie, fat and sodium info for different dishes. Forewarned is forearmed!
Don’t forget, eating out should be a fun treat, whether it’s with friends, family or work colleagues. Once or twice a week, it does you good to relax and not have to worry about washing up! A bit of soul food can do the soul wonders.
Letting this list slide every now and again is actually good, a little indulgence goes a long way, but balance is the key, remember, when you eat at home you’re in complete control over what you’re putting through your body and can keep a firm hold on your nutritional intake.