Healthy Eating, Dining Out: Tips for Reaching Your Goals While Enjoying Your Life.

Healthy Eating, Dining Out: Tips for Reaching Your Goals While Enjoying Your Life.

Eating healthy can feel like a challenge when you're constantly on the go, with social gatherings and busy schedules often meaning restaurant meals are a regular part of our lives. The good news is you can maintain your healthy eating goals and still enjoy a night out with friends or family. This article provides tips for making smart choices while dining out, allowing you to reach your health goals without sacrificing the fun! Preparation is key to healthy dining out. Here's how to get a head start:

  • Research Restaurant Options: Not all restaurants are created equal. Look for establishments with menus that highlight healthy options or allow for customization. Online resources and reviews can be a goldmine for finding restaurants with healthier options in your area.

  • Focus on Protein and Vegetables: Protein and vegetables are the building blocks of a healthy meal. Choose lean protein sources like grilled chicken, fish, or tofu, and don't forget the veggies! Opt for vegetable-based dishes, side salads over fries, or add extra veggies to your main course to help keep you feeling full for longer!

  • Healthy Cooking Methods: How your food is prepared can significantly impact its healthfulness. Select dishes cooked with healthy methods like grilling, baking, or steaming. If your goal is weight loss, avoid fried, breaded, or creamy options when possible, as these tend to be higher in calories and unhealthy fats.

  • Mind the Portions: Restaurant portions can be notoriously large. Be aware of this and consider sharing a meal with someone or asking for a half-portion. Leftovers are another great way to avoid overeating. Package up half your meal to enjoy for lunch the next day.

  • Sauces and Dressings: Sauces and dressings can add unwanted calories, fat, and sodium. Request them on the side so you can control the amount you consume. Opt for lighter options like vinaigrettes or tomato-based sauces.

  • Beverage Choices: Sugary drinks like soda and juice can significantly increase your calorie intake. Choose water, unsweetened tea, or black coffee instead. If you're drinking soda or alcohol, opt for zero sugar mixers/soft drinks.

  • Start with a Salad: Filling up on fibre-rich salad before your main course can help with portion control. The extra fibre will keep you feeling fuller for longer, making you less likely to overeat your entree.

  • Share Desserts: We all love a sweet treat after a delicious meal. Instead of indulging in a whole dessert by yourself, consider sharing one with a friend or opting for a fruit-based option like a sorbet or fruit salad.

  • Don't Stress: Remember, one day/meal/night out won't ruin or undo all your progress! Think of your health and fitness goals as a long-distance journey, not a quick sprint. There will be bumps in the road, and that's okay. What matters most is that you stay on the path most of the time.

Dining out doesn't have to be a roadblock on your path to healthy eating. By following these simple tips, you can make smart choices that allow you to reach your goals while still enjoying the social aspects of dining out. Remember, balance is key. Enjoy the experience, savour the flavours, and focus on making healthy choices most of the time. With a little planning and these tips in mind, you can have your cake and eat it too (in moderation, of course)!

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