Even the most passionate chefs would love to dine in a restaurant. A scrumptious meal with your loved one can be (almost) as exceptional as a home-cooked fancy meal. Plus, you don’t need to do dishes. But the question is..“how do you keep eating healthy even when dining out?”
The downside: when you’re not in charge of the menu, it’s hard to control the healthiness of your meal.
Here are my top tips to ensure your dining experience stays not only awesome but is also healthy ( Trust me… I use these while dining out )
Read the Menu Before You Go
Yes! You can keep eating healthy even if you are dining out!
If you’re not familiar with the menu, read it before you get to the restaurant. It will give you an idea about all the healthy options they have. Most restaurants have their menu online, or call before to make sure they can accommodate your diet requirements. Better even, write down what you are going to order. You are more likely to stick to it.
Keep A Balance = Eating Healthy
“Nutrition is all about the right balance,” Eat a light dinner if you ate a big lunch in the restaurant. Or, if you know that you’re going to a restaurant, plan to have lighter meals during the day. This way, at the time of dining out, you won’t be too full… thus avoiding excess food consumption.
Decode The Menu
When you’re browsing the menu, check out for words like breaded, Parmesan or panko-crusted, fried, batter-fried.
Your best food option should be the ones that are baked, broiled or grilled. Eating healthy means opting for grilled chicken instead of regular fried one… or a plate full of sweet potato fries instead of regular oil-loaded fries.
Drink Water Before And During Your Meal
Water is a fantastic choice for drinking before and with a meal, especially if you drink it instead of sugar/carbonated-sweetened drinks or too much alcoholic beverages. Water will keep you full.
Replacing sugar-sweetened or carbonated drinks and wine or beer with plain water can help reduce your intake of calories and added sugar.
Try Eating Your Meal Mindfully
Mindful eating is eating healthy, it means making conscious choices about what you consume and giving your full attention to the eating process.
Chewing your food properly and eating slower can help you eat less. It will also make you feel full more quickly.
Ask, Ask, Ask
Don’t be afraid to ask the waiter to help you finding the healthy option for your meal. For example, you could ask for a salad in place of the usual fries or fried snacks with a meal. You can also ask for food to be prepared with less oil or moderate amount of cheese and sauces on the side.
Consider Salads Carefully
If you don’t have time to eat your salads at home, you can always find them as an option on most menus when you dine out.
Just a caution: not all salads are created equal.
Avoid ordering salads with crispy toppings, candied nuts, cheese and croutons tons of cheese, as these ingredients can quickly transform a good-for-you bed of greens into a calorie, and fat extravaganza.
Either ask for these toppings on the side, in smaller portions or omit altogether.
Always ask for olive oil and vinegar instead of the ready-made dressing. This tip alone, saves you a lot of un-healthiness.
If you follow these tips each time you dine out, your waist-line and overall health will thank you.
Do you have any go-to tip for healthier dining out? Please share in the comments.