How to Stay Healthy at Restaurants
Happy Valentine’s Day my loves! In honor of this love inspired holiday I wanted to discuss a topic that I get a ton of questions about and also struggle with myself: how to eat healthy when going out to eat. Many of us want to maintain a healthy lifestyle but also want a social life, which is totally reasonable… especially on holidays like today [Symbol] We are each on a health journey, however, without balance it is very unlikely that we will be able to maintain that healthy and happy lifestyle so it’s important to figure out a way to balance eating at home and going out. Below I have listed 5 tips for healthy dining out.
Check the menu and plan out what you are going to eat before you arrive. This will help you to make well thought out, healthier food decisions. I know for me as soon as the wine is flowing it’s definitely harder for me to make healthier choices so having a plan going in helps to avoid that.
Tell the waiter you have a dairy and/or gluten allergy, even if you don’t. I have celiac disease so I always let the waiter know I am gluten-free, however if I am trying to avoid dairy or feel the restaurant will use too much butter on a dish I will always pretend I have a dairy allergy. This ALWAYS helps me to feel healthier and lighter during and after the meal. Remember, gluten-free is not always the healthier option but if you’re out to eat it’s always nice to know you can skip the dairy or gluten for the evening.
If you know you will be going to an unhealthy restaurant for dinner, eat a heavier meal for lunch that day and a lighter dinner meal. This will allow you not to feel as hungry during the unhealthy dinner and help you avoid the temptation of eating as much unhealthy foods.
Eat SLOWLY. This is a hugely helpful tip in my opinion because at most restaurants the portion sizes are HUGE so eating slowly allows you to connect more easily with your mind and body on when you are full, which prevents you from overeating.
Substitute unhealthy side dishes for healthy ones, such as vegetables. For example, if the chicken you ordered comes with a side of French fries, substitute that for a side of Brussel sprouts. Restaurants almost always will allow you to do this and if they don’t then paying the extra few dollars to make a healthier food choice is ALWAYS worth it.
Hope these 5 tips encourage you guys to continue making healthy food choices even when at a restaurant. It can definitely be nerve-wracking when you are first starting your health journey to go out to eat knowing you will have to resist temptations, however, it is completely doable. Remember, no matter if you are cooking or dining out, a healthy lifestyle is created with DISCIPLINE and BALANCE… if you can master those two things you will successfully lead a healthy life. Now go out and enjoy a lovely Valentine’s Day with your significant other or friends guilt free!