I think we all know how hard it can be to stay healthy while eating out. So many temptations, huge portions, and sometimes even peer pressure. My clients often ask me what they can do to stay healthy while they are eating out. I usually tell them, if eating out is not a regular thing to just enjoy themselves. However, if you eat out more than 2 or 3 times a week or simply just want to feel better after a big dinner out, these guidelines can help you to stay healthy while still enjoying yourself at a nice meal!
1. Choose or suggest restaurants that have several healthy options. Mediterranean and Asian cuisines can be a good pick.
2. Set your intention before looking at the menu that you will order something healthy and delicious. If you let your appetite be your guide, you may be attracted to the first unhealthy thing on the menu.
3. Order a salad or other veggie appetizer to start your meal, and share an entrée with another person or take part of your entrée home.
4. Ask to replace a less healthy side dish with a side of vegetables or a salad
5. Suggest sharing several small plates with your friends. It is very hard to over eat when you share with others.
6. If you know you might be waiting a while for a table or socializing before dinner, have a light snack before you leave the house. This will help to satisfy your hunger so you don’t over eat by the time you sit down to dinner.
7. Eat slowly, enjoy conversations, and eat in a surrounding where you feel comfortable and relaxed. If you are drinking, savor some wine with your meal, but drink slowly throughout the meal.
8. Try to prevent situations where you will be drinking on an empty stomach before your meal. Drinking on an empty stomach will spike your blood sugar and can encourage over eating as your body tries to stabilize your blood sugar. This can also lead to a resulting drop in blood sugar later, which can make you feel tired.
9. For dessert ask for some seasonal fresh fruit or berries with a little whipped cream or chocolate on top. This will satisfy your sweet tooth while giving you healthy antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals!
10. Drink teas after dinner that aid in digestion such as peppermint, ginger, chamomile, or licorice.
11. Take a nice walk after dinner to help your food digest.