A lot of people ask me if it’s possible to eat healthy while eating out. Of course it depends where you go but it’s easier now than ever before. More restaurants are recognizing our movement toward healthy eating and offering healthier choices. Here are several strategies for eating healthy when you’re eating out.
One of the easiest things to do is substitute. Look for healthy alternatives on the menu. For example many restaurants now offer sweet potato in place of white potato or brown rice instead of white rice. Have tea instead of coffee and honey in place of sugar.
Bring it With You
Another great strategy is to bring it with you. A few small packets of Stevia can help you avoid sugar and sweeten things. You can also bring a small bottle of clean homemade salad dressing to use in place of some of the “less healthy” options you may find on the menu.
Many restaurants post their menu online and that gives you a chance to plan ahead. Call and ask if special accommodations can be made regarding how things are prepared. Many places will happily work with you to provide a clean healthy choice. For example: cooking with olive oil instead of vegetable oil.
Start with a Salad
Ordering a salad to start can help you fill up on good nutritious vegetables. You’ll eat less and be less tempted to stray from your plan. Be sure to ask for dressing on the side, bring your own or ask for olive oil. I love using olive oil and cracked black pepper on my salad.
Cut The Cost
Many of the serving sizes when you’re out are huge so consider splitting your entrée with a friend or ask for a box to bring half of it home. You won’t over-eat and you’ll get two meals for the price of one!
Keep It Simple
When possible keep it simple and order chicken or fish. Ask to have your entrée prepared without the sauce or with the sauce on the side.
Tell the waiter or waitress that you’re eating healthy. You’ll be surprised how many people will go out of their way to help you.
Eating out is about spending time with friends and family. With a little planning and communication you can focus on having a good time rather than feeling guilty about what you’re eating.
Have a tip for eating healthy when you’re eating out? Share in the comments below.