Are you a social person yet value fitness, and are in need of tips for eating out healthy? Just because you eat healthy, that doesn't mean you have to skip meeting up with friends or not attend personal events. Generally eating out is accompanied by food rich in high calorie. Restaurants and Delis served food that tastes good but doesn’t do for your health. When the food doesn’t come from your kitchen, it's hard to know what nutrition benefits you are getting. Having food outside of your home can literally mean consuming unhealthy calories. But with our tips for eating out healthy, you can stick to your fitness goals. Have a look at these smart tips and make sure you make healthy choices the next time you dine out.
12 Realistic tips for eating out healthy
We share practical tips for eating out healthy to maintain a balance between your social life and fitness goals. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner eating healthy food outside just like home-cooked meal is possible. So the next time you walk in restaurant be aware of what you order. Adhere to these tips and dodge everything that can wreak havoc to your healthy eating plan. Here is how to eat healthy at a a restaurant.
Plan before you Head out
Before you pick a place and settle on dining have a look at the menu. See whether healthy food options are a part of their menu or not. You can also find apps that will give you restaurant choices and nutrition information before you pick your venue. However, chances are you may not always be the one choosing and end up eating out in a unfamiliar restaurant. In such cases, if you look up the menu before you get to the restaurant, you can pick out what you would like to eat beforehand. This will benefit you from making unhealthy choice and help you stick to your plan. Also, when you scan the menu, stay away from a few red flags. Pan-fried, crispy, dipped, breaded. Instead, look for food that is grilled, steamed, baked, roasted, broiled, or seared.
Pick your Side Wisely
When you order a main dish such as a meat dish or vegetarian stir-fry dishes, you often get a side dish. The vegetarian stir-fry dishes are a healthy alternative to high calorie foods. However, sometimes, the main dish may not contain enough vegetables. In such case order steamed or grilled veggies as your side dish. This ensures you don’t lose out on your nutrition and don’t deviate from your healthy eating plan. When eating out on a diet, avoid ordering vegetables that are cooked in loads of butter or thick sauce rich in fats.
Avoid the Buffet
The all-you-can-eat buffet is dangerous place when you want to eat healthy. Try to steer clear of buffets at all costs. If you do end up stuck going to one, most have a menu. So instead of the hitting the buffet line, you should opt to order from the menu. At least, you will have a choice to order grilled, steamed, broiled or baked food options. This way, you will be able to customize your order and avoid food rich in fat and maintain a balance in your diet.
Smart Meat Selection
Any meat you order will be rich in protein. A few meat options are also rich in fats. A smart tips for eating out healthy is to order lean meat or pick leaner meat cuts while ordering beef. You can go for flank steak, skirt steak, tenderloin, sirloin or filet Mignon. If you are strictly trying to avoid the fat, then opt for chicken, especially the chicken breast. Chicken is your best choice when you want protein-rich food but also want to avoid unhealthy fat. Meat is a brilliant option to cut down on empty carbs such as pasta and bread. You will go home satisfied and with a filled stomach and no guilt.
Control your Bread Intake
The bread basket is often tempting, and within no time, you will be filling your stomach with high calories without any nutritional benefit. Ask your waiter to not bring the bread basket before bringing your meal. Try to hold back and pass on the bread and chips. If you don’t want to refuse, then specifically ask your waiter to bring it with your main meal. Try to curb your temptation. If you cannot, then have one slice and ask the waiter to take away the remaining.
Don’t Forget Portion Control
Share your meal with your partner or a friends and keep away from ordering meals with large portions. Portion control is necessary so that you don’t overeat and consume higher calories. Also, remember you don't need to finish your meal every time. Don’t force-feed yourself. If you don’t have somebody to share your food with or you can’t finish your meal then ask the waiter to pack it up and bring it home for another meal.
Easy Breezy Light Salad
Start your meal with a salad full of nutritious and crunchy vegetables. But be aware as not all salads you consume will be healthy. If there are deep-fried toppings, candied nuts or plenty of cheese in your salad, Skip those toppings or ask your waiter to put them on the side. Similarly, ask for the dressings on the side and use them in small quantity. These dressings are often loaded with unnecessary calories, sugar, salt and fat.
Don’t Be Embarrassed About Asking Your Server
Don’t shy away from asking the waiter if your meal can be cooked the way you like it. Or simply ask them to switch your meal with healthier options. For example, instead of fries or chips with your meal, you can politely ask them for a salad. You can request them to take away the bread basket after you pick a slice. Or you can also ask them not to bring it at all to your table to save you from the urges. If you are ordering salads and don't want to ruin the calorie count, then ask for dressing on the side. You can also ask them to convey to the chef to cook your food in less fats or add less cheese. Most restaurants often comply with such orders and are also happy to provide you with options for ordering off-menu.
Double Appetizers For a Meal
Many restaurants offer excellent seafood, meat, and vegetable-based appetizers. In such cases you can order two plates of appetizers and skip the entree. You can enjoy two appetizers as a meal and satisfied your hunger. This quantity of food will be enough for a single person. Also, if you can’t finish everything on your plate, ask your servers to box it up for you.
Pick a Broth Based Soup
The best way to satisfy your stomach and curb your hunger is by ordering broth-based soups. Such soups are lighter and don’t fill you with any regrets. This is a healthy option to have before a meal as it contains both meat and vegetables. The soup broth can be made of chicken, beef or seafood stock and loaded with vegetables. This will ensure you get all the nutrition and order something light for your main meal. To have a low-calorie meal start with broth-based soups and order salad as your main course. Remind your server not to toss your salad in any kind of dressing and if your meal arrives wrong don't be afraid to send it back.
Desserts Are For Sharing
It is possible that after so much planning before eating out and ordering your food, you end up hungry. Order a bowl of fruit or simply ask for coffee without any sugar. You can have it with a dash of non fat cream to enhance the taste. However, if it’s the desserts you want to try out as you can’t control your cravings, then order a single dessert. Politely request your server to bring enough spoons so that you can share it with your partner or friends and divide the calories.
Soda and other sugary drinks look like a nice treat to order while socializing. However, they are high in calories and is more like ordering a second meal for yourself. The best alternative is to kick your soda habit and stick to water as your primary beverage. Drinking water will keep you hydrated and save you from filling yourself with unnecessary calories. It keeps you full so that you don’t overeat. However, if you like to sip something flavored, order sparkling water with fresh a fresh squeeze of lime. You can also go for unsweetened iced tea or chilled water with cucumber and lemon.
These are a few tips for eating out healthy that can guide you on how to eat clean. Maintaining good health is the ultimate goal, so follow these tips and learn the do’s and don'ts. This way, you will have control over your eating habits and eventually on your body.