Just because you’re living a healthy lifestyle, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the fun. When friends, family, and colleagues invite you out for dinner- you don’t have to turn down the offer immediately! Regardless of what kinds of foods your plan involves, there are plenty of ways you can still dine out with friends without going off track. Here are my favorite tips for eating at restaurants while still being healthy.
Look at the menu ahead of time
Most restaurants will have menu information online. Having a browse beforehand means you know what kinds of things are on offer, and stops you from getting there and sitting down to realize there’s nothing you can eat. Many restaurants will have a healthy or ‘lighter eats’ section often with the calories included which make it easier.
Ask the waiter for any adjustments
If you’ve found something suitable but it comes with an unhealthy sauce or side, such as creamy sauce or french fries; ask if you can have it without this. Most restaurants will be more than happy to cater to your requirements. You could always ask for potato dishes to be swapped with vegetables instead. If you’re unsure, ask how things are cooked too- for example, if certain things come baked or fried. This means you’re not getting caught out and eating things you didn’t plan on.
Water with ice and a slice of lemon are the perfect accompaniment to your meal. Juices, sugary fizzy drinks, and alcohol, will all pile on the calories. Ask for a pitcher of water, so you can drink as much as you like without having to keep ask for top ups. Drinking water while you’re eating will also help to make you feel more full, so you’re less likely to overeat too.
Fill up on salad
If the restaurant you’re dining at has a salad bar, take full advantage. Alternatively, search for restaurants with healthy salads. Double check what extras and dressings come with it when you’re ordering to make sure it’s not high in oil or sugars. If it is, you could ask to switch this with a different dressing or to put it in a pot on the side so you can control how much you put on. On the other hand, you could ask for dressing to be left off entirely.
It sounds like an obvious one, but of course, skip the calorific dessert if you want to keep the meal as light as possible. You could opt for a small portion of sorbet, frozen yogurt or a fruit platter for a lighter option if these are available. Alternatively, skip straight to the hot drinks, and order a cup of coffee or green tea instead. If you fancy a taste of something sweet, you could always see if anyone wanted to split dessert
What’re Your Thoughts?
Dining out should be enjoyable, not stressful and if you follow these tips, you should be able to find something you’re able to eat. Once you’ve dined out a few times and know what kinds of things to be aware of and the best choices to make; it will become a lot easier too.
Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.