Have you ever looked at a menu and immediately realized you were about to throw your normally healthy diet out the window?
Hey, it happens to the best of us! Restaurant food is supposed to look, smell, and taste delicious, as they always want to tempt you into coming back for more. The only problem is that a lot of restaurants fill their meals with fat, sugar, and other unhealthy ingredients to create those mouth-watering options, making it difficult for those trying to maintain a nutritious diet.
However, just because it’s difficult to make healthy choices doesn’t make it impossible. Check out our 5 ways to eat out healthy.
1. Be the First to Order at the Table
Do you often go out to eat with people that don't follow the same healthy eating plan? Then you may want to be the first to order at the table.
Research shows that what you choose to eat and how you choose to eat it can be significantly influenced by the choices of others. Therefore, by ordering first, you’re less likely to order the same rich and buttery food as your companions (as tempting as it may be!).
2. Ask for Healthy Substitutions
You know how a lot of meals come with a side of fries or potatoes? Depending on the restaurant, you may be able to switch those out for something healthier.
Vegetables, for example, are always a good choice when it comes to sides. Research shows that vegetables can be a good source of various nutrients, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
So, next time your meal comes with a side of fries, ask your server if they do substitutions. See if you can get a salad or some roasted vegetables in their place.
3. Beware of All-You-Can-Eat Buffets
While all-you-can-eat buffets may sound good in theory, being presented with an almost unlimited supply of food can make it difficult to determine appropriate portion sizes. This can present a challenge for those following a healthy eating plan.
If you find yourself struggling at an all-you-can-eat buffet, then try adjusting the amount of vegetables on your plate. Research shows that loading half of your plate with some kind of vegetable may help increase your intake. And, by filling up on vegetables, you may be less likely to indulge on other, unhealthy buffet options.
4. Get Your Sauce or Dressing on the Side
Sauces and dressings are often full of added sugar and fat, so it’s best to try and avoid them at a restaurant. However, sometimes certain foods just seem to need a little extra something.
If you can’t go without your sauce or dressing, then consider ordering it on the side of your meal. You may not be able to control their ingredients, but at least you’ll be able to control the amount that’s on your food.
5. Allow for Some Flexibility
It can be hard to say no sometimes if there’s a particularly tempting item on the menu, so don’t beat yourself up if you occasionally indulge in a treat. Injecting some flexibility into your food choices is actually linked with better weight management and overall health.
Therefore, if you tend to eat healthy most of the time, you shouldn’t worry too much about the odd restaurant meal. Treat yourself!
Looking for a restaurant that is full of healthy options? Click here to check out our organic plant-based menu at Press Market!