Dining out can be tough when you are trying to keep healthy, especially if you have only just started your journey to a fitter and healthier life. Many people use their busy lifestyles as a way out of not keeping fit and healthy. Whilst yes, work, family and friends are important, you should always be your top priority and that means that your health should come first, above everything!
I’ve had so many clients tell me “my diet is on pause this weekend since I’ve got a work night out” or “it’s our anniversary tomorrow, so we’ll be dining out and I don’t think I can stay healthy.”
These are all excuses. You need to stop these and find ways to make a healthy regime a part of your lifestyle by adopting these 4 tips.
Most restaurants have their menu online, on Facebook or Instagram, or you could simply call them and ask them to email a copy over. It’s good to know what they offer. Now if you’re like me, you’re probably sat there thinking, “how the hell do I know what I’m going to fancy on that day.” I’m not asking you to make a complete decision in advance, but see what healthy options they have, and narrow it down to a few. When it comes to making quick decisions when dining out, it is very easy to make bad ones, and let’s face it, most of us do—I am definitely guilty of this!
Sides usually consist of chips, onion rings or white rice—which are, of course, very tasty but very bad for you too as they are packed with empty calories and zero nutritional value! Swap these sides for steamed veg, and if they don’t offer them, then simply ask whoever is serving you to leave the extras off your plate. You’ll tell yourself you won’t eat them, but one chip will turn into two chips which will then turn into you demolishing them, so be sensible and don’t tease yourself!
Alcohol is packed with hundreds of calories, and whilst yes, 2 for 1 cocktails sounds like an awesome idea at the time, just think of all the hard work you have done so far—having 2 rounds of cocktails will completely ruin that. If you must have a drink, then opt for a neat, white spirit (vodka or gin), no fizzy drinks or juice, and definitely opt for wine over beer! Remember, the key is to keep it moderate. We don’t want to deal with a nasty hangover and munchies the next morning!
I’m going to be honest—before I started taking my fitness and health journey seriously, I used to dine out with my friends and order only starters and dessert. Yes, you read that right, I used to skip the main course. Nowadays, I very rarely eat dessert out. I’d rather wait for my food to settle a little then go home and make some yummy pancakes with peanut butter! It takes a lot of willpower to say no, especially if everyone around you is having dessert.
I’ve learnt to say no straight away, as I find “I’ll have a look at the menu” usually ends up in me having the yummiest, fattiest and sickliest thing on there! I don’t deprive myself from having dessert, I simply don’t eat it out, and if I do want something a little sweet, then it’ll only take me 2 minutes to whip something up when I get home. Order an espresso instead, and don’t think of it as depriving yourself, just as making healthier choices that you’ll benefit from in the future.