When you go out for dinner which most of us do at this time of year it can be really difficult to make healthy restaurant choices. Some restaurants do offer you healthy food choices but trawling through the menu not knowing what to choose for the best can be a challenge, and the wrong choice can really do damage to your good work.
You can actually consume way over your daily calorie allowance in just one evening at a restaurant!
Drinks, appetizers, entrées, mains, deserts, coffee and liquors all add up.
Not to fret; I’ve put together some handy tips to help ensure you eat right and make the right food choices.
#1 Do Your Homework
Find out which restaurant you’re going to first or if you can choose one yourself all the better. Most places have their own website these days and most also have their menu’s on the website. This gives you the opportunity to pre-plan what healthy food choices you can make before you even step a foot through the door.
#2 Drink the Smart Way
Spirits (ideally white) and white wines are your best choices of drink. Cocktails are also an ok choice so try a mojito, a margarita or something else light and fruity. For every alcoholic drink you have (ideally only 2 glasses), drink 2 small glasses of water to ensure you stay well hydrated and flush through the toxins before they get a chance to take hold. Alcohol is a serious weight gain nightmare so keep your intake as low as possible whilst still enjoying yourself. Stay away from fruit juices and soda’s too.
#3 Stay Alert
This sounds crazy right! When you’re with friends, family and large groups of people you tend to get caught up in conversation and tend to want to follow the crowd. It’s also much easier to get led a stray with other influencers around. “Go on, just tonight, have a desert”. Don’t do anything to please anyone else! Stay alert, remember your goals and take your time to make the right choices.
Again, this may sound a little out there but even the order in which you place your order can have an effect on your food intake. The trick is to always order first; that way you’re not going to get influenced by other peoples choices and potentially have what Uncle Brian’s having which turns out to be steak with chips, onion rings and pepper sauce! Also, don’t be afraid to make changes, ask for meat to be grilled instead of fried in oil, ask for no sauce and swap potatoes for salad.
Is there a sorbet, a parfait or a fruit option? Look at what’s ‘light’ on the menu. If you really want to indulge in something a little more ‘heavy’ then share it with someone and ask the server to have it cut in half and served on two plates/bowls.
#6 Buffet Style
If you happen to be going to a buffet style restaurant or event then this can be a real challenge for the health conscious eater. You may be at an ethnic restaurant buffet where a lot of foods are fried and covered in sauces. Ask your server which dishes are cooked in very little oil and go for the ones without much sauce or ones that are sauce free. If you’re at a help yourself buffet style event this still poses problems because there’s often lots of pastry items available. Again, look for light foods such as salad, fruit, lean meats, nuts, and hummus. If there is a little something you want to indulge in allow yourself one and really savour it or ask someone to spit it with you.
The trick to going to a restaurant and not coming away with excess body fat is just to be mindful of where you go and what you choose. You have the control to make the right choices or indeed make the wrong ones.
Use these tips to eat right and you will enjoy your meal without completely destroying your figure.