September 08, 2021 3 min read
It’s inevitable – no matter how strict you are with your diet and meal prep plan, there are probably going to be times when you forgo the normal routine and eat out at a restaurant instead.
Eating out is an important part of many of our social lives. Not only is it a welcome reprieve from cooking every day, but it’s also a great way to socialize and spend time with our loved ones. But it can be a double-edged sword, since we have less control of the food we eat when it’s outside of our own houses.
Luckily, the occasional night out doesn’t have to get in the way of your healthy eating habits! Balancing a regular healthy meal prep plan with other meals can still lead you to success as long as you’re being mindful. So now that life is slowly starting to return to normal, here are 8 tips for eating healthy when you’re eating out:
Sometimes, the problem with eating out isn’t that the food itself is terrible in and of itself, but that it’s served in enormous portions.
Don’t feel like you have to eat the whole portion right away. You can always get a to-go box for the leftovers – or better yet, you can ask for a box right away and portion out half immediately so you aren’t tempted to go overboard.
In social situations, it’s easy to pay less attention to the food you’re eating and more attention to the things going on around you. Unfortunately, this can sometimes mean that you end up overindulging.
As you’re eating, keep tabs on how good the food is – and how it’s making you feel. If you’re paying attention, you’re less likely to miss the cues that your stomach is full which can help prevent overeating.
Similarly, don’t rush through your meal. Eating out is a treat, so savor it! Put your fork down in between bites and engage in conversation with your friends and loved ones. After all, enjoying the experience is just as important as the food itself.
We all know that balance is the key to healthy eating, so part of the trick for staying healthy while eating out is to evaluate the menu carefully and find one that has all the nutrients that you need. If you can find an option that has lean protein, like fish or chicken, and plenty of veggies, you’ll be able to eat healthier while still enjoying your meal.
Sometimes, there are things on the menu that are just too good to pass up – which is totally fine. Don’t self-sabotage by making yourself feel guilty for the occasional treat if it’s something you really want. As long as you can get back to your regularly scheduled meal prep plan afterwards, you can definitely enjoy your treats.
They’re called “liquid calories” for a reason. Alcohol on its own tends to pack on the calories, especially if you’re having more than one.If you’re also adding mixers or having heavier drinks like beer, you may find that you’re ingesting way more calories than you intended no matter how healthy the actual meal itself is. It can also lower your inhibitions, which can make it harder to control your appetite.
So eating healthy at a restaurant might mean skipping the drinks completely, or sticking to just one whenever possible.
Appetizers are fun to share with the other people at the table, but they can also be very calorie-dense. It’s also easy to overdo it on the portion sizes in situations like this. So feel free to skip out on the shared plates – and if you do want to indulge, serve yourself a reasonable portion to stick to.
We often think of salad as the “healthy” option, since they’re filled with lots of veggies, but many restaurants add lots of additions to their salads that can increase your calorie consumption. And like many restaurant options, the portion sizes are often much larger than you need./p>>
If you do go for a salad, make sure to watch out for excessive toppings. You can also ask for dressing on the side so you can have a little more control over the fat and calorie content.
Eating out doesn’t have to be a compromise. In combination with a healthy meal prep plan (and with a couple of these handy tips in your arsenal) you can have your cake and eat it too.
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