When you are trying to maintain a healthy eating regime, you can certainly continue it at all times, even when you are eating out. At fast-food chains, diners, and cafes, or in trendy upscale restaurants – wherever you eat, you can choose the right food that can be both healthy and filling at the same time.
Eating healthy mainly requires you to know what to choose to eat which will be the healthiest option for you. Even when you are attending an All-you-can-eat buffet, you can choose the best and the least fattening meals for yourself, so that you neither gain weight nor suffer from your one night of indulgence.
Here are some tricks to eating less and eating healthy when you are dining out.
- Order Water
When at a café, diner or restaurant, skip all the designer drinks and order water. Anything else can contain sugar or sugar substitutes, and they are simply extra calories you don’t need. Water is the best choice of drink that goes with any kind of food, and you can drink as many glasses it as possible. Better yet, the more water you drink, the more hydrated your body becomes, which is much better than order a fizzy drink, a carbonated cola or iced tea.
You can also opt for fresh fruit juice, low-fat milk or unsweetened black tea – these are almost as calorie-free as a simple glass of water.
- Start Ordering salads
Even if you were never the type to order salads, start doing it. Contrary to popular belief, salads aren’t bland and unsavoury; instead, if made right, salads can be quite delicious. Besides, ordering a salad doesn’t mean you have to eat only vegetables, because salads these days have meat, nuts, and seeds in them, complete with dressings and seasonings.
If you ask for dressing on the side, you can choose to eat only a little amount of it, and save yourself from a lot of calories. A large bowl of salad for lunch, filled with green vegetables and proteins, is all you need for a filling lunch.
- Skip the Appetizers
Go straight to the main entrée instead of going through salads and appetizers. If needed, order a large main entrée that you can share with the other members of your group. When you are having dinner out with your family, order a sharing platter for the whole group. This way, you won’t be compelled to overeat just to finish your plate, because there’ll be others finishing off for you.
- Eliminate the Carbs
When ordering, skip everything that has a significant amount of carbs in it, and instead focus on the more important food groups. Choose a steakhouse to dine out instead of a pizza place or a seafood restaurant instead of a Chinese restaurant. Choose meals that are mainly fish, seafood poultry, meat, vegetables and leafy greens instead of anything to do with bread, pasta or rice.
- Fill up on Vegetables
Almost anywhere you dine in, you can get huge options for vegetables. Whether you want to add sautéed vegetables to your steak or mainly eat from the salad part of an All-you-can-eat buffet, there are usually options for vegetables everywhere. If you simply don’t know what to order that’s going to be healthy for you, always go for vegetables. They are filling and healthy; you won’t gain a lot of weight eating vegetables (unless they are cooked in a lot of oil) and at the same time, you’ll get a lot of important nutrients.
- Don’t Overeat
Stop eating the moment you are full; don’t continue to overeat simply because you need to finish your meal. Ask the servers to pack up the remaining food for you if you don’t want to waste, and the same food can become your next meal at home. This is one of the main reasons it is better to avoid All-you-can-eat buffets and go to regular restaurants because you won’t be tempted to overeat just because there’s a whole table full of food you can eat from.
- Know what to Order
If you know where you are going, always try to read the menu before actually arriving at the restaurant. Most restaurants have their menus available on their website or Social Media pages, which can help you to make your choice beforehand.
If you arrive at the restaurant starving, you might end up ordering more than you intended to, simply because of all the tempting smells that usually welcomes you in a restaurant, as well as the appetizing pictures in the menu. However, if you know beforehand what you want to order, you can simply do so without even looking at the menu, and stick to your decision.
- Eat Something Before You Leave Home
If you don’t want to overeat when dining out, always have a snack before you leave home. It doesn’t have to be a full meal, but a simple snack so that you are already a tenth full when you order. At restaurants, everyone always orders more than they can eat when they are starving, and then finish off the whole plate because they don’t want to waste food.
A handful of nuts, an apple or a single piece of sausage with a glass of water before you leave the house, and you won’t make irresponsible decisions with the order because you are starving.
- Skip Dessert
A few spoonfuls of dessert has more calories in it than your whole meal, so it is always better if you can skip dessert. Decline the offer of anything that resembles a dessert after your meal when you are already full after your meal. If, however, you feel the need for something sweet desperately, order a fruit plate – this is both healthy and filling.
Instead of a dessert, you can also order a black coffee if you want to linger at your table, or if you don’t fill like you’re completely done. As a cheat, you can also share a few spoons of dessert from your dining partner’s plate, if you are with company.
- Stick with only one plate
Either order double appetizers or a main entrée, or a soup-and-salad combo, or just a salad-and-dessert combo. Don’t try and go through all the different courses just because they are all on the menu, because you don’t have to. You can simply walk into a restaurant and order just a soup or a salad instead of ordering multiple courses for yourself, and this will save you from a lot of extra calorie intake.
The main focus on eating out should be not just on the food, but that you are enjoying yourself. Make your dine-outs an experience instead of just eating, and you can enjoy yourself without a lot of food. Choose a restaurant that is trendy and illustrious, so that you can focus on your surroundings instead of only on the food.