10 Healthy Eating
DINE-IN AND TAKE-OUT TIPS
Whether you feel safe eating at a restaurant’s dining room, or you’re devoted to helping your local economy by ordering to-go and eating at home, figuring out what to order when you’re trying to live a healthy lifestyle can be tricky.
Some people handle eating out situations by avoiding them altogether only to soon feel anti-social, isolated or left out. Having weight loss goals does not mean you have to stop living!
My goal is to show you how to stay on track and how to stay in control, even when someone else is preparing your food.
As an independent eater, I want you to feel empowered to not let restaurants and other social-eating events derail your progress in making balanced nutrition a commitment for life.
Remember, there’s a world of healthy choices out there, and you’re the boss of what you put into your body.
It’s still completely possible to order food from restaurants AND be healthy. All you need is a few tricks up your sleeve so you can be prepared.
In a fan-favorite podcast episode with JJ Virgin, she discusses what entrees she chooses at a variety of different restaurants (fast forward to 15:35)
In this episode with JJ, you’ll also discover…
• If you’re unknowingly having dessert for breakfast
• Sugar’s impact on everything from your skin to your brain
• Proven tips for breaking free of a sugar habit
• Tried and true techniques for eating healthy at restaurants
7 Healthy Eating Dine-In and Take-Out Tips
1. Get familiar with the menu ahead of time. You’re more likely to make unhealthy choices when you’re hungry. Plus, being stimulated by the sight and smell of food can make healthy choices even more difficult. Get familiar with the menu before you walk through the doors so you already know what option you want to order .
2. Snack before you go. To prevent being over hungry, have a snack before you get to the restaurant! Even a few almonds or sticks of jicama can do the trick.
3. Drink water before you eat. Before your food arrives, drink at least two glasses of water to help you eat less. One study found that people who drank 17 oz of water before their meal not only ate less calories, but they also lost 44% more weight.
4. Ask Questions: Remember… the way that your food is cooked can have a big impact on the amount of calories it includes! If a menu doesn’t specifically say how the food is being prepared, ask questions. While it may never occur to you at home to cook something swimming in butter, cream or oil, that may be just how the salmon of the day is prepared.
Try to find a meal that includes one of these cooking preparation methods…
5. Ask for healthy swaps. If your meal comes with sides, ask for broccoli or a side salad instead of fried or mashed potatoes. This cuts a significant amount of calories, and gives you healthy fiber and nutrients.
6. Get the bread off the table. Nibbling on bread can really derail your good intentions. Ask if fresh veggie sticks are available, if not you can muster enough willpower to wait until your meal, can’t you? Drink some water, or ask for a small dinner salad while you’re waiting.
7. As a rule of thumb, get sauces and dressings on the side. This way you can control the amount and most likely, you’ll find you need far less for the food to be “dressed” than they generously give you.
8. Ask for To Go: Think about this, the same amount of pasta is served to a 120-pound woman as to a 250-pound man. So, while big portions may give you more for your money, don’t let a restaurant dictate the portion you intake for fuel and energy. They don’t know your body’s needs. Ask for a “To Go” container when your food arrives. Immediately store the excess food, and put that box away. Leaving a giant portion of food on your plate can lead to overeating before you even realize it.
9. Don’t be afraid to change up the menu. Ask for a hearty helping of veggies in place of white rice or buttery mashed potatoes. Most restaurants are willing to accommodate your dietary needs. On those rare occasions when you’re not, you might try something my girlfriend does, and tell the waiter you’re allergic to the food item you don’t want!
10. Slow down. Take time to put your fork and knife down between bites to sip some water, and enjoy the entire experience of your meal. This allows you to feel full more quickly and give your satiety signals some time to be triggered. It will help you avoid getting overstuffed!