Eating out doesn't have to be unhealthy - from having a snack to avoiding the bread basket check out our guide on how to eat out healthily.
Eating out doesn’t have to mean eating badly.
But we understand that when faced with options such as a mouthwatering burger and a luxurious pie and mash, it can be difficult to opt for a healthy salad.
However, to help make eating healthy when eating out easier, we have put together some tips that can help you make healthy, guilt-free choices that not only leave you feeling good but fully satisfied as well.
Check Out The Menu Beforehand
If you have a dinner date planned, whether it be for a family celebration or just a catch up with a friend, make sure you know where you are going in advance so you can check out the menu online.
This way you are aware of what is on offer before you get there and can make a healthy decision in advance rather than being caught off guard and picking something you shouldn’t.
When you get to the restaurant do not even look at the menu and always order first so you are not tempted to sway.
Skip The Bread Basket
No one ever actually goes out craving bread but when you’re getting hungry and it is placed right in front of you for free, it can be hard to resist.
If you see a waiter coming over with a bread basket kindly ask them to take it away so you can avoid this added temptation.
Eat A Snack
Never go to a restaurant starving hungry as when you see other people’s meals and smell their food, your willpower could very quickly go out of the window.
Instead eat a healthy snack such as a carrot or a small apple an hour or so before you are set to go to a restaurant,
This way you will not be overly hungry and are less likely to make impulse decisions and give into cravings.
Know What You're Looking For
When you look at the menu, you can generally tell if something is healthy or not by the way it is described.
Opt for things that are described as grilled, boiled, baked, poached or steamed and avoid items that are described as fried, crispy, cheesy, creamy, buttered or breaded.
If you’re having a starter, opt for something light and healthy like a salad, soup or fresh seafood as this will help fill you up and make you less likely to eat all of your main meal.
You could even opt to get a few starters in place of a main meal as this can be just as satisfying and filling.
When choosing a main, opt for lean protein with a side of vegetables or a side salad.
If you choose something in a sauce, always pick tomato-based sauces over cream or cheese based ones as these are likely to be healthier.
Tweak Your Meal To Suit You
Never be afraid to ask for things to be catered to your needs because as a paying customer, you should be able to have exactly what you want exactly how you want it.
If there is something on the menu that you want that can be made healthier, ask for it.
For example, if you order something that comes with chips on the side, ask for a jacket, boiled or even sweet potato instead.
If something is fried, ask if you can have it grilled; ask for any sauces or dressings to be put on the side and always opt for a side of vegetables or salad.
The more control you have over the elements of your meal, the better.
Avoid Fizzy Drinks And Alcohol
Alcoholic and fizzy drinks are full of empty calories that can have negative effects on your waistline.
If you want something fizzy opt for soda water with fresh limes for a healthy alternative to lemonade or if you really want alcohol, have a small glass or red or white wine or a light beer.
However, if you want to be really healthy, choose water which not only aids digestion but also keeps your body hydrated so you can better tell when you are actually full.
When offered the dessert menu, always say no. By not even letting yourself look you are removing temptation as you won’t even know what you are missing out on.
The best thing to do is to ask for the bill as soon as the main is taken away to avoid being swayed.
If you really want a dessert, try sharing one with someone else so you still get the satisfaction of the dessert but with only half the calories.
If you can, try to pick fruit based puddings and sorbet instead of ice cream.