Are you finding it challenging to maintain your healthy eating plan when dining out? Do you often feel tempted to indulge in unhealthy foods when eating out with family and friends? Don't worry; you're not alone. Many struggle with staying on track with their healthy eating plan when dining out. The good news is that there are practical tips and tricks you can use to make smart food choices and stay on track with your wellness goals. In this article, we'll share some helpful insights and advice on how to stick to a healthy eating plan when dining out.
How to Stick to a Healthy Eating Plan When Dining Out:
Know What to Look for When Choosing a Restaurant
Choosing the right restaurant can make a huge difference in sticking to your healthy eating plan when dining out. Here are some tips on what to look for when choosing a restaurant:
Check the Menu in Advance
Before heading to a restaurant, check their menu online to see if they offer healthy options. Many restaurants offer a range of healthy options, so you're likely to find something that fits your eating plan.
Avoid Buffet-Style Restaurants
Buffet-style restaurants can be a recipe for overeating and unhealthy food choices. Choose restaurants that offer a la carte menus or pre-set meals if possible.
Look for Healthier Cooking Methods
Restaurants using healthier cooking methods like grilling, baking, or steaming are more likely to offer healthier options than deep-fry or sauté in heavy oils.
Make Smart Food Choices
Once you've chosen a restaurant, here are some tips on making smart food choices:
Start with a Salad
Starting your meal with a salad is an excellent way to enjoy healthy greens and veggies. Just choose a low-fat dressing and avoid croutons or other high-calorie toppings.
Choose Lean Protein
Choose lean proteins like grilled chicken, fish, or tofu to keep your meal healthy and balanced. Avoid fatty meats like bacon or sausage and prepare them grilled or baked.
Swap Out Unhealthy Sides
Many restaurants offer unhealthy side dishes like french fries or onion rings. Instead, ask if you can swap them out for a side of vegetables or a baked potato.
Watch Your Portions
Even if you're making healthy food choices, watching your portions is essential. Here are some tips for keeping your portions in check:
Share Your Meal
Consider sharing your meal with a friend or family member. Not only will this help you control your portions, but it can also save you money.
Ask for a Doggy Bag
If you can't share your meal or have leftovers, ask for a doggy bag to take the rest home. This way, you can enjoy your meal again later and avoid overeating.
Avoid supersizing your meal or ordering extra sides, even if it seems like a good deal. Stick to your healthy eating plan and order only what you need.
Q: Can I eat out and still stick to my healthy diet?
A: Yes, you can! You can enjoy eating out by choosing the right restaurant, making smart food choices, and watching your portions while staying on track with your healthy eating plan.
Q: What are some healthy food options when dining out?
A: Some healthy food options when dining out include grilled or baked lean protein like chicken, fish or tofu, salads with low-fat dressing, steamed or roasted vegetables, and brown rice or whole wheat pasta.
Q: How can I resist temptation when dining out with friends, not on a healthy diet?
A: It can be challenging to resist temptation when dining out with friends, but one way is to plan and choose a restaurant that offers healthy options. You can also suggest sharing dishes or ordering smaller portions to help control your portions. Another tip is to focus on socializing and enjoying the company of your friends rather than solely on the food.
Sticking to a healthy eating plan when dining out doesn't have to be complicated. By choosing the right restaurant, making smart food choices, and watching your portions, you can enjoy eating out while staying on track with your wellness goals. Remember to plan, focus on healthy options, and enjoy the company of your loved ones without getting too caught up in the food. With these tips and tricks, you can maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle at home and dining out.
For further information on nutrition, here are some organizations with their web addresses
British Nutrition Foundation - https://www.nutrition.org.uk
The Nutrition Society - https://www.nutritionsociety.org
World Cancer Research Fund - https://www.wcrf-uk.org
The Vegan Society - https://www.vegansociety.com
Action on Sugar - http://www.actiononsugar.org
Food for Life - https://www.foodforlife.org.uk
The Caroline Walker Trust - https://www.cwt.org.uk
Sustain: The Alliance for Better Food and Farming - https://www.sustainweb.org
The British Dietetic Association - https://www.bda.uk.com
The Association for Nutrition - https://www.associationfornutrition.org
These organizations can provide additional resources and support to help you manage your nutrition and maintain a healthy diet.