Monday, 1 August 2016

Eating Out and Staying on Plan

We all like to enjoy a meal out from time to time. It is a nice treat to be able to have someone else cook for us, and even better – no clean up.

However it is important to remember that the only way to be healthy in the long run is to get into the habit of actually cooking our own food from scratch. While eating the occasional meal out is a must for most, the majority of your meals should be cooked by YOU. It is the only way to ensure you know exactly what is in your food and how it is cooked.

If you do eat out follow these tips to ensure you don’t overdo it or even worse, undo all the good work you have done so far.

1.       Don’t Go To The Restaurant Hungry!
This is something we all tend to do. Going for dinner? Better skip lunch. So you don’t eat anything all day and arrive to the restaurant starving. This leads to you overeating and choosing all the worst foods not to mention hitting the bread basket before you even start your meal!

Overcome this by having a light lunch such as a salad with protein or a bowl of soup and grab a quick snack in the afternoon such as an apple and nut butter. You will be far less likely to overindulge at dinner and will be happier for it!

2.       Avoid Breaded Dishes or Dishes Covered in Sauces
Go for plain proteins such as fish or chicken and avoid those sauces. You have no idea what is in them! Avoid salads drenched in sauce such as Caesar salad. I often hear people say “Oh I only had a Caesar salad for starter” without considering that it is covered in sauce and croutons and is about as far removed from a healthy salad as bread roll in my opinion. Ask for some olive oil on the side and add it yourself.

3.       Practice Portion Control
Portions have got larger and larger over the years leading to a situation where restaurants now provide us with huge portions of meals to keep us happy and coming for more. The issue with this is we often over eat at these meals, ignoring our natural instincts to stop eating when full. Eat three quarters of what is on your plate and then stop. This is an easy way to stop overeating but will ensure you are still satisfied. 

Dining Out

4.       Don't be afraid to ask.
Restaurants cater for all kinds of special requests — all you have to do is speak up. Order your food grilled, baked, or steamed instead of fried. Ask for dishes to be cooked with a little olive oil instead of vegetable oil. Request extra veggies and less potato.  
Remember, it is their job to get you what you want. That is what you are paying for! 

5. Check Before You Go.
Upcoming Event and worrying about what you will eat? Look the restaurant up online and check out their menu. That way you have full control over what you intend to order before you go and it makes it a lot easier to stay on track. Nothing on the menu suitable? Call the restaurant and tell them you have specific needs and would they be willing to get you something alternative to eat? Restaurants appreciate the heads up and will be more than happy to accommodate you if possible.

6.       Eat Slowly
Enjoy the food and your company. Eating your food too fast leads to overeating as you do not register the food until you are overfull. Make the evening an experience!

For further information and tips on how to maintain a healthy diet contact me on for a consultation.