Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to lock yourself in your house and avoid all socializing that involves food. Realistically, if you plan on following your healthy eating plan for any length of time you have to learn to incorporate your health goals into your normal lifestyle. Accomplishing this is as simple as putting on your game face and avoiding the high calorie meals prevalent at most restaurants. You can eat out and still keep to your healthy food choices. Here are some tips on how to do that.
- Mentally prepare ahead of time. Know what limits you are going to put on yourself. The worst possible time to make a wise menu choice is when you are staring at so many tempting options on the menu.
- Eat out with someone of like mind. If one of your friends is also trying to keep to a healthy eating plan invite them along. It is easier to stick to your plan if you are accountable to someone at the table with you.
- Account for a dinner out by eating slightly less during the day, but not to the point where you are starving and eat too much at dinner.
- Eat a high fiber snack before going out to make you less hungry. An apple or vegetable will fill you up without detracting from your health goals.
- If possible, choose a restaurant with healthy menu choices. You may not be aware of it, but many restaurants are providing healthy entrees for those watching their weight or requiring healthy food options because of health concerns.
- Don’t hesitate to make a special request regarding your meal. For example, ask your server to drop the fries and substitute a side of vegetables.
- If choosing a salad, be sure to order it with the dressing on the side. Avoid the heavy calorie packed dressings altogether and go with oil and vinegar.
- An alternative to choosing an entrée is to order several side items instead. You might also go with an appetizer and a side.
- Another option is to split an entrée with your dinner partner. If someone else in your party is like minded about their food choices, then the two of you can share.
- When ordering drinks, be sure to steer clear of high calorie sodas or sugary alcoholic beverages. Choose a lighter drink, and order water with it. Go with a light beer or wine instead of a margaritas or long island iced tea.
Following these 10 tips will help you stick to your healthy lifestyle while still enjoying a meal out with friends.
Trisha Jefford is a self-proclaimed foodie and wine enthusiast who loves to scour the net for new ideas and trends in food creation and presentation.