Deciding to start eating healthy comes with multiple challenges, including the foreboding feeling of anxiety about possibly disappointing yourself by eating out.
So, some decide they'll never eat out but is that necessary? No, especially not when you're already reading this! Below, are nine tips that will help you eat healthy at any restaurant:
1. Do a thorough scan of the menu
While doing this, there are certain keywords you should look out for. These are food items or cooking methods you should avoid because they hint at high calories gained from fat and salt. Examples of such terms include fried, breaded, scalloped, cream, Alfredo, and crispy.
Instead, choose meals cooked with healthier alternatives like braised, boiled, grilled roasted, broiled, steamed, seared, etc.
Note: When you're not sure of how a particular meal was cooked, ask the cook or waiter.
2. Ask for more servings of vegetables
Vegetables will always be healthy, so they are that meal item you should look for when perusing the menu. Ask for double or triple the standard serving of vegetables since many restaurants serve them as sides. This primarily works when the restaurant doesn't have a salad bowl on the menu.
3. Drink water throughout the meal
Water is good when you're looking to eat less because it'll help you feel full in very little time and even better, help you digest better. So, when eating out, make sure that water is your choice of drink.
Don't like the taste of plain water? Ask for a slice of lemon!
4. Order some meat
You may not have expected to see this, but eating meat has been found to promote satisfaction, which means you eat less and avoid calories obtained from seemingly harmless menu items like pasta and bread.
When choosing meat, go for chicken or leaner parts of beef like the flank steak, skirt steak, tenderloin, sirloin, or filet mignon.
5. Ask that your food be packaged
Did you know that you could ask that you're a fraction of your food be boxed up even before you start eating? If you think that may be hard to do, then you must know that restaurants often serve two to three times what you need for a normal serving.
6. Avoid the fancy drink options
If you must order alcohol, avoid exotic mixed drinks as they typically include processed sugars. Instead, go for a glass of wine, vodka, a light beer, or a tonic.
7. Order some fish
Fish has high protein content, which makes it filling and very satisfactory. Just remember to avoid it if it's fried!
8. Try fusion restaurants
Ethnic foods like Japanese, Thai, Greek, and Indian restaurants have more healthy meal items than others, e.g. Mexican, Chinese, or Italian restaurants.
If you haven't already noticed, Thai, Greek, and Indian meals often feature fewer calories than others.
9. Eat a bowl of fruit for dessert
Don't skip dessert because you're trying to eat healthily. Instead, order a fruit bowl which may include one or more fruits (a bowl of berries is almost always available at any restaurant) or a fruit sorbet.
Remember, health is wealth!