Essential Tips When Eating Out
Eating healthy doesn’t mean every meal has to be made at home. As coaches we hear many times that people are waiting to start their health journey until things slow down. This can be business meetings, traveling, or your grandma’s birthday dinner. There will always be an event, and there will always be poor eating choices. The trick is being able to be prepared going into the event, and making the right choices when you get there. Here are tips on how to eat healthy when you go out to eat:
A lot of restaurants these days are including healthier options on their menu. If you know of a place that is on the healthier end, suggest it!
Look up the menu before you show up. Get an idea of what they serve, and come prepared with ways to adjust. Some menus even have “lighter” options. Think simple. Choose a lean protein, vegetables (ask for no butter or oil), or even some rice or baked potato. Salads are a great option, but be careful some can be more calories than a cheeseburger. If you get a salad, ask for the dressing on the side, no cheese, and avoid extras like added tortilla strips.
Have a light meal before you go. Most restaurants have big portions sizes and it is easy to overeat when you are hungry!
Don’t eat two meals! Appetizers can catch up to you. It is easy to fill up on chips or bread before the meal comes. This is another reason why is it important to have a light meal at home before you go!
When your meal comes, remember to slow down! After waiting for a meal you are excited for, it is easy to dive in without stopping. This leads to overeating and regret. Take a bite, drink some water, talk to the people you are with, and enjoy yourself!
Yay leftovers! Listen to your body, and try your best to stop when you are about 80% full. For example, if you were to have two or three more bites you would feel like you are in a food coma. Avoid the food coma! Take home leftovers, enjoy your meal again!
Ditch the dessert. By this time, you have most likely had a pre-meal, appetizers, and a full dinner. Don’t even ask for the dessert menu unless you feel you can’t go home without it!
Don’t go straight to bed or go to sleep on a very full stomach. Sleep is a great time for your body to not only get rest, but time to digest and recover. Take a brisk walk; give yourself about an hour after eating before you crash!
Being prepared going into any social gathering is the best way to maintain your health. It is extremely hard when everyone around you is indulging while you are trying your hardest to make the best choices. Control the controllable! Eat before you go, study the menu, eat slowly, and stop eating when you are full. You can be social and healthy!