Eating out is fun, sociable and an opportunity to try fancy foods you wouldn’t normally cook at home. But if you’re concerned eating out will compromise your slim down efforts, follow these tips to stay on track!
With technology at your fingertips, it’s easy to suss out the menu before you arrive. Any research you do prior will give you a head start on making healthy choices without others influencing you.
Arriving at a restaurant feeling ravenous is a big mistake, especially if you know you notoriously overindulge on the bread basket and quickly quaff your wine before the entree arrives. One way to prevent this is to nosh on a small snack a few hours before you arrive, such as a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts to stave off hunger and potential over-eating. Be the first to order. You might start out with good intentions, but by the time everyone has placed their order you find yourself fretting over your food choice. It’s easy to get influenced by other people’s menu choice, so stay on the safe side by ordering first to maintain your resolve.
It can be easy to eat more than you intended when dining out. Ask about the serving sizes - is it a dish you can share with someone? If you’re going to try a few dishes, consider ordering more entrées and vegetable-based sides and sharing the main meals between the group. If you’re still hungry – you can always order more later on. As for dessert, wait at least 20-minutes after your main course to check if you’re not too full. If you decide you would like to, share it.
If you’re unsure of the menu lingo, don’t be afraid to ask questions about how the food is cooked and prepared, or request slight adjustments or swapping certain ingredients for healthier ones (e.g. grilled vs fried or steamed veg vs fries).
Telling the difference between hunger and thirst sounds easy, but, in reality, people confuse the two all the time. Sipping on water while you wait for your meal is a good alternative to mindlessly dipping your bread in olive oil before the main dish arrives. Be conscious to switch between water and alcohol during the meal to help regulate appetite and stay hydrated between top ups.