It's one of the greatest pleasures of life. Socialising and eating. But restaurant food is designed to smell, look and taste great. Resist? We don’t stand a chance!
What if we told you you can confidently ignore the temptations? Choose the healthy options instead?
Most restaurants offer healthy dishes nowadays. The trick is knowing what they are before you go. Avoid just turning up and reading all the enticing menu descriptions. Most restaurants have their menus online now so you can choose your meal ahead of time. Once there, try to order before anyone else to avoid changing your mind!
Just like you shouldn’t go food shopping when you’re hungry, don’t go out to eat when you’ve not eaten for hours – you’re likely to eat everything in sight! Have a healthy snack beforehand to take the edge off your appetite. A hard-boiled egg, an apple with peanut butter, celery and cottage cheese, or any healthy smoothie would do.
Sometimes we spontaneously decide to eat out. And impulsive dining can be great! But the downside is you can’t plan ahead. If you find yourself in an eatery without a plan, fear not. Simply apply your sleuth skills to the menu and look for clues of healthy food prep. Words like “grilled”, “steamed” and “broiled” should leap out as good choices. Avoid dishes that are “fried”, “battered”, “alfredo”, “rich” and “creamy”, and you’re sorted.
Embolden yourself and ask the server for their recommendations of healthy options. You could also request for a substitution – salad instead of the chips in a meal, tomafor example. Or for less oil on the salad, or for the breadbasket to be taken away NOW!
Don’t think it’s all about deprivation, however. You could also add on some good stuff. More salad please! More fish, fruit and veg! Hussle the meal to suit you.
Sharing your meal with someone else is a great way to portion control! Some restaurants give very large portions so halving it isn’t as bad as it sounds. Or opt for a ‘sharing plate’, which give a few tasty choices in limited amounts.
Alternatively, ask for a take-out box when you place your order. This is great for people who proudly “clean their plate” every meal. No praise from your parents, but no guilt about wasting food either. When the meal arrives, portion off what you think is a sensible amount to eat, then box the rest.
I can just see the reaction in my local restaurants for any fussy-bugs asking for a substitution! It isn't usually necessary anyway as most things come as separate sides. The idea of 'pre-loading' does make sense though, keeps me away from the desserts!
Personally, when I eat out I like to eat whatever I like and forget about healthy eating just for once. So it's battered all the way for me!
I agree with looking at the menu before you go. Then ignore everything else and stick to the plan.