Stay On Track While Dining Out
Living a healthy lifestyle can be challenging when your trying to balance out work, family and your social life. Eating out is a big wall that many people hit when trying to balance all of these different aspects of your life, but don’t stress because you can still dine out and stay on track! Looking at the menu can be an overwhelming experience, but you have to rewire your brain to look at those unhealthy options and be able to make substitutions to make them a healthier version. Here are a couple tips and tricks you can use to reduce the calories and come out of the restaurant feeling good about your choices.
1. Complementary Bread or Chips? NO THANK YOU (always be polite). Solution: If you know that the restaurant serves one of the two simply ask the waiter to not bring any to the table. Out of sight out of mind.
2. Fried or Grilled? We can’t stress enough how important it is to get away from the fried foods. When foods are fried that takes away the nutrients of the food and adds extra calories. Solution: Many restaurants now accommodate to dietary restrictions, so be sure to ask your server if you could get your meats grilled.
3. Hold The Salt: Many people don’t realize how much excess salt restaurants add to their meals. Too much salt makes you retain water weight, which makes you look bloated. Solution: Tell your server to not add any salt if they can so that the chef can be more aware of your needs.
4. Want Some Salad with that Dressing? Just because your eating a salad doesn’t mean that’s the healthier option. Solution: Always ask for your dressing on the side. If you want a higher fat dressing, like Caesar, do it, you choose to have a salad over a burger and fries (your one set ahead of the game). You now have the control of how much dressing you will put on your salad and save yourself some extra calories while still enjoying yourself. When it comes down to toppings, be careful! Avoid croutons, bacon bits, and cheeses. Cheese can be tricky because it is a good source of calcium, but is very high in fat. Ask for all guilty pleasures on the side, moderation is key.
5. Would You Like Fries With That? Well yes, I certainly would like fries with that…but my body certainly doesn’t. Sides usually consist of carbohydrates that can be fried or fatty foods. Side dishes are one of the greatest parts of the meal so you need to get creative and smart when it comes to choosing what you’ll have. Solution: You have the power to make substitutions, so don’t ever feel embarrassed to do so. The server and chef are there to accommodate you so sub away…your body will thank you later. Always go for vegetables as a side, but if your feeling antsy here are some alternatives. 1) Brown over white rice 2) Fresh GRILLED vegetables over fries, hold the butter 3) Sweet potato fries over regular fries (be careful they are still FRIED). 4) Whole Grain Toast over White Toast 5) Sugar free syrup over regular syrup
6. Sick of Water? Sometimes you just need to drink something else besides water, which is totally understandable for all you soda lovers out there. Solution: Sparkling water or unsweetened ice tea are your options. I hate to break it to you, but Diet Soda is terrible for you. Sparkling water is great for people who need that fizz in their mouth. Unsweetened ice tea is a great diuretic and if you add a little lemon, you have a healthier drink.
Don’t deprive yourself from having a social life, when it comes to going out. Living healthy is all about working with your surroundings and overcoming challenges. These tips and tricks end up becoming a natural habit if you practice it every time you dine out.
Live a happy, healthy life and nourish your body properly!
Photos sourced from: healthyfamiliesbc.ca, arabiaweddings.wordpress.com, and fitnessmagazine.com