How To Eat Healthy When Eating Out
Sustaining a healthy lifestyle requires self-discipline and commitment. But sometimes, we crave a specific cuisine (other than your usual dishes at home) or want to catch up over a meal with your family and friends. Eating in a restaurant is the standard option, and this may derail you from your healthy routine.
However, eating at a restaurant doesn't always mean it is unhealthy if you're aware of these tactics. You can eat out regularly without ruining your healthy eating habit. Yes, you heard it right; you can be healthy and have fun too.
Here is how:
1. Scan The Menu
If you're on a strict diet, you tend to be watchful of the foods you eat. So the first step you should do when you plan to eat in a restaurant is to go over the menu. Foods that are cooked in the methods below typically contain less energy and fat. Order foods that include the following words in their description:
On the other hand, avoid foods with the words like:
It is because foods containing words like these are usually packed with more calories, fat, and salt.
2. Order Fish or Seafood
Though sometimes it is a bit more expensive, ordering baked, grilled, steamed fish or seafood is one of the best options to increase our lean protein intake whilst lowering our intake in unhealthy fats. However, avoid them when fried, breaded, or cooked with cream.
3. Order a (Double) Serving of Vegetables
Non-starchy vegetables are typically low in energy and rich in fiber for good digestion. Always order a portion of vegetables, double or triple it, but choose veggies that are not cooked with cream or butter to avoid unhealthy fat and extra calories. Also, order your salad with dressing on the side to control the amount of dressing added. Salad dressings are often high in calories, oil and sugar.
4. Choose Healthier Cuisines
Some healthier cuisines to choose from are: Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese or Greek restaurants. They practice healthier cooking methods, such as soup-based items, and have a variety of vegetables to choose from. The majority of their dishes are non-fried, and they feature lean protein options such as grilled fish, seafood and lean meats.
However, you can still dine in at your favourite restaurants, even when the food items are not necessarily the most healthy. Make healthy choices before and after the meal and make sure to get some exercise into your day.
5. Avoid Fancy Drinks
Whether it is free or not, avoid sugar-sweetened beverages when you eat out. Try to hydrate yourself with water or sparkling water to stay healthy, and avoid cocktails because they contain excess sugar and calories. If you really want a drink with your meal, keep it to one drink for women and two drinks for men. One serving of alcoholic beverage that are relatively lower in calories include vodka soda, a glass of wine, champagne or a beer.
Overall, eating in a restaurant does not need to be contradicting to your health. You just need to be wise when making food choices. Also, do not hesitate to ask the servers about how they prepare your food of choice.