Eating healthy and clean can get particularly tricky when it comes to eating out or going for drinks with friends and colleagues. Restaurants tend to serve food in oversized portions, dose most meals with too much oil, and everything is made with gratuitous amounts of salt and sugar.
As someone keeping healthy eating in mind, how is it possible to have an enjoyable night out, without compromising your healthy routine? Never fear- we have a few hacks to keep your clean eating in check during a night out!
1.Research Now, Eat Later:
Take 15 minutes and look up healthy cuisines in your neighborhood that offer more vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and the option for substitutions. Don’t have a choice in the restaurant this time around? Make sure to take a look at their menu beforehand (the miracle of the internet!), and decide beforehand what you’re going to choose so you’re not tempted to get a less-healthy option.
2. Don’t Drink Your Dinner:
Except in moderation or on special occasions- skip the Long Island Ice Tea. Beer and other cocktails are high in calories and sugar- and could have you drinking more of your dinner than eating it! It will also weaken your resolve to order a healthier menu choice when it comes time to order. If you would like to enjoy a beverage, try to opt for a glass of wine or lite beer.
3. Ditch the Bread Basket:
It’s hard enough maintaining control and ordering something healthful… so don’t fall into a hole when the bread basket comes around! Be proactive, and ask your server to skip bringing bread to your table. Instead of a bread, start with a salad before getting to your main meal. The high fibre and water content of the veggies will tide you over while you wait for your entree. Having a salad can also decrease your total caloric intake.
4. Know Your Menu Lingo:
There are a lot of words on menus to describe entrees that have “hidden” meanings, and give some insight as to what might be on your plate or in your dish! Here are some that you might want to stray away from when ordering:
- Fried or deep fried or braised
- Creamy or creamed
- Cheesy or “au gratin”
Instead, look for these terms when ordering:
5. Eat Mindfully and with Intention:
Chances are, if you’re going out to eat, it’s probably for something special. Maybe it’s a loved ones birthday, maybe it’s to celebrate a promotion, or maybe it’s just a nice end of the week meal. Savour and enjoy the meal- it’s not often that you get to relax and let someone else do the cooking for you. Turn off the phone, enjoy the company, take in the atmosphere, and really try to savor every bite!