Going out for a meal is one of my absolute favourite things to do! I like to go all out and really enjoy trying new flavours and dishes (or occasionally have the classics that you know you love!). However, I know that sometimes life can get so hectic that your social life has taken over your week, and you are going out for meals more than you know you should – so it’s important to maintain some control and willpower for at least some of these outings. It is also important to stay strict if you’re trying to lose weight/fat, as one big meal out might just ruin your week’s target. Here’s what I recommend you do:
Choose something satisfying
There is nothing worse than food envy! So choose wisely. Healthy food does not mean a garden salad with dressing on the side (how boring!). Make sure the meal you choose has fresh vegetables or salad, some good quality carbs (even sharing sweet potato fries with a friend is better than having a plate load of triple fried normal potatoes and onion rings), and of course some lean and filling protein. Go for dishes that have a lot of flavour too, for example ones with herbs and spices … give your taste buds a treat!
Look for healthy swaps
Many restaurants are pretty flexible these days and you can mix and match some ingredients. I often like the sound of vegetarian dishes but quite often ask to add some fish or meat. If there is a dish you really like but it comes with something really unhealthy, ask if you can swap it for something else – don’t be shy!
Be the one to suggest the restaurant
There are a lot of healthier restaurant options these days so do your research and see which ones fit with your plan, and suggest it to your friends. I am sure your friends and family will be supportive of your healthy living … they might just get on the healthy bandwagon too!
Scout out the menu first
I often do this because I get so excited … but it’s also a great way to stay on track. Often when you get to the restaurant you are hungry, and temptations are heightened when hunger kicks in. So why not choose your healthy option before you go, so you can go straight to it when the waiter comes, and bypass all of those treats!
Have a healthy snack before
I know a lot of people eat less earlier in the day when they have a meal planned in order to “make room”, but as mentioned above being ravenous doesn’t help with making healthier choices … so if you want to stay on track I recommend having a healthy snack before you go. Try something with a decent protein punch, or something high in fibre and healthy fats – like some avocado on toast, or peanut butter on an apple.
Watch the booze
I am sure most of you meet up for a drink before your meal, so a nice glass of pre-dinner vino normally hits the stomach before any food does. If you’re anything like me, as soon as I’ve had a glass my inhibitions for healthy eating often go out of the window “what the heck, I’ll just have the burger” … but if you do that for your 3 meals out that week I am sure there will be a feeling of regret once the week is up! So hold it together and perhaps save your drinks for after you’ve ordered!!
I hope this helps you stay on track during the more tempting times in life – sometimes you have to make small sacrifices if you want to feel, be and look healthy!
I’d like to leave you on an altered Kate Moss quote “nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels”