It’s hard enough making healthy choices when you’re in the comfort of your home and most likely, free of temptations! Then, you add going out with friends or family to your favorite restaurant, and it’s 10 times harder! We will admit we used to struggle big time when it came to eating out! Either we were scared to pick anything that didn’t only involve lettuce, or once we got to the restaurant, we would go town and then go home upset about the damage we had done.
Before, we get into some quick tips on staying on track. We are not in any way condoning having something you enjoy that we all know is far from healthy when dining out! We are FIRM believers in moderation! If you never allow yourself to have something you enjoy eating, you will break one day. You may have a long period of time where you “stick” to your so called “diet,” but one day, you will scream out some choice words (or, say them to yourself), and decide that you can’t deprive yourself anymore! Guess what? That would be 100% normal to do!
With that being said, that doesn’t mean you go all out the whole day, or even the whole weekend or week! You’ve probably heard the saying that goes something like, “One meal won’t make you fat,” or, by the same token, making better choices for one meal (while, a step in the right direction), will not give you your dream body.
Now, back to the restaurant topic! If you LOVE pizza, or LOVE pasta, and you have really watched what you have been eating all week, HAVE IT. ENJOY IT. MOVE ON. Get right back on track the next day or meal! We have gotten comments before where (people who clearly don’t see us eat daily) people will say, “They only eat protein and veggies”. First of all, wrong; we all know we eat waffles, too (insert laughing emoticon). Just kidding. The point is that is not ALL we eat. Yes, that may seem like that since thats typically what gets shared on social media. Clearly, social media is just a small portion of our lives and what we eat. We will say we do genuinely enjoy eating “healthy” foods–meaning foods like fruits, veggies, lean proteins, etc not because we are scared we will get fat or scared to eat so called “bad” foods, but because we like them and like how we feel eating them!
Alright, so what are these quick tips we promised?!
- Look at the entrees and find something with a lean protein like chicken, fish, or even red meat.
Avoid anything with the words: fried, pan fried, scalloped, buttery, sautéed, au-gratin.
- Instead, look for things with the words: steamed, baked, broiled, blackened, or grilled.
- Try to look at the menu ahead of time and pick out a couple of potential prospects. If you wait until you are completely hangry, all so called “healthy” option will go out the window!
- Drink, Drink, Drink! (We mean water, not alcohol!)
- Ask for grilled or steamed veggies
- Order a burger wrapped in lettuce (or ask for it bun less and get it with a side salad). You can also order it the way it comes, and take on bun off! Just that will save you a ton of carbs and calories!
- Ask for all dressings and sauces on the side! These are typically loaded with unnecessary sugar, thickening agents like molasses or cornstarch–i.e.: more empty calories. If you still want that sauce or dressing, at least you can control it! Restaurants tend to drench a salad or entree in a sauce or dressing, too. Who wants a soggy meal?!
- Omelets with veggies and fruit are always a good option when dining out for breakfast or brunch!
Ask for extra veggies! These will fill you up and contain tons of vitamins and fiber!
Ask how the food was prepared. Sometimes, restaurants are not very clear with how things are made. For example, we can’t have dairy, and if we could count the number of times a sweet potato mash sounded like it didn’t have dairy in it, we would be banking it! Turns out, they almost ALWAYS have cream or milk in it!
- If you can’t find something to eat, don’t be afraid to customize your meal! Ask for a different side, or ask for the protein grilled instead of fried! From our experience, asking politely and being grateful go a long way!
There you have it! Remember, committing to being more healthy and active is a LIFESTYLE! In other words, it is a marathon, not a sprint! Some days will be easier than others, but as long as you try your best to achieve those goals slowly but surely, you will be on your way in no time!