If you’re trying to eat healthy, eating out is one of your greatest challenges. There can be a lot of temptation, no matter where you go out to eat. Fortunately, it is possible to eat out and still stay healthy. There are usually healthier options to choose on the menu. Even when there aren’t, it’s ok to treat yourself sometimes as long as you do it in moderation. If you want to try and keep things healthy when you eat out, there are a few things you can do to ensure you don’t go overboard when you choose your meal.
Nix the Bread and Nibbles
Before your meal comes out, there’s often something on the table to nibble on. It could be bread, breadsticks, poppadoms, prawn crackers, nuts or a range of other foods. While it can be tempting to start tucking in, you have to be careful. For one thing, you could end up being halfway to full before your meal even arrives. And these nibbles are often pretty high in calories – and not particularly nutritious calories, either. If you’re trying to stay healthy, resist dipping into these. If you can’t resist, ask for them to be taken away.
Go for Lots of Greens
Choosing healthy food is obviously going to help you. It’s a great idea to pick something with lots of vegetables or salad, which can be filling and nutritious. You can start by picking the right sort of restaurant. Different cuisines or restaurant themes are more likely to have healthier options than others. Choose an Asian eatery like Lona’s and you’re sure to have lots of options with salad and greens. Pick a barbecue restaurant and you might find it a little more difficult to choose a healthy option. However, you can usually find a salad on the menu.
Stick to One Dish
One of the joys of eating out is sometimes having three or four courses. But while this might be ok once in a while, you probably shouldn’t do it all the time, especially if you eat out fairly often. If you want to avoid overdoing it too much, try to stick to having just one dish. Avoid loading up on sides and having dessert, and choose something that will fill you up on its own. Sometimes having a few small plates is an option too, particularly in restaurants where the menu lends itself to that.
Choose a Healthy Drink
Drinks can be another temptation when you’re eating out. Alcoholic drinks tend to be high in calories, and so are sugary soft drinks. If you want to avoid too much sugar or too many calories, you could consider a diet drink instead. You might also find that there are some healthier drinks on the menu, including carbonated water or flavored water or some fruit juices. It can also help to have one drink that might not be so healthy that you can enjoy, plus a pitcher or bottle of water on the table so you have more to drink.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean giving up eating out. You can still enjoy a meal out if you make healthy choices most of the time.