6 Fat-Busting Tips When Eating Out

Eating Out

Eating out doesn’t have to mean the end of your healthy lifestyle, and you shouldn’t have to avoid socialising with friends and family to try and ‘stay on track’ with your nutrition! Here are a few simple tips to enjoy your meals out whilst maintaining your healthy choices.

#1 Choose Your Top 5

Choose 5 ‘go-to’ restaurants where you know they serve fresh, nutritious meals so when you get asked ‘where shall we eat tonight?’ you have your answer ready and don’t get stuck at the next ‘all you can eat’ outlet!

Recommended:

  • Japanese
  • Thai
  • Greek
  • Indian (grilled meats & non cream-based curries)

Not Recommended:

  • Mexican
  • Chinese
  • Italian

#2 Do Your Homework

These days most restaurants have their menus online so before you go take a look and make your choices before you get there. This way you’re less likely to be tempted by the high-fat, high-calorie options and you don’t have to spend an eternity at the table trying to search for the ‘healthy’ options.

#3 Make Sure the Food is ‘healthy’

Most menus will have a ‘healthier’ or ‘low-fat’ option, but beware…this all too often means they have substituted the fat with high-sugar content in the form of dressings and sauces. Some restaurants have also started offering ‘low-carb’ options, although this doesn’t mean they are low in calories, and are usually crammed with fat.

#4 Don’t Starve Yourself

If you're already conscious of your nutrition and eating a good diet, chances are you're not starving yourself, but definitely make sure you're not when you enter a restaurant. You should be eating something every 3 hours or so, so try having a small snack about an hour before you head out the door. This is a great way to prevent making hasty choices because your body's craving sugar!

#5 Make Smart Choices

So when it comes to actually choosing from the menu, plan your meal around protein and vegetables. Beware, a large use of descriptive words in menus usually means more ingredients and more calories!

Try to avoid the following words:

  • Crispy
  • Battered
  • Sticky
  • Fried
  • au gratin
  • scalloped
  • pan-fried
  • sautéed
  • buttered
  • creamed or stuffed

Look for these words instead:

  • steamed
  • boiled
  • baked
  • grilled
  • poached or roasted

#6 If You’re Not Sure, Ask

Don’t be afraid to ask for alternatives. For example, instead of the calorie-laden option of chips (which seems inherent with nearly every meal these days), ask if you can have new or baked potatoes and/or rice instead. Usually the vegetable portion is lacking in restaurants so feel free to ask for an extra portion of vegetables, this will make sure you're getting enough vitamins and minerals. It'll also keep you feeling fuller and prevent you over-indulging on the high-calorie foods.

Most meals come with sauces / dressings – ask for these to be ‘on the side’ so your food is not drowned in sugar, salt and fat. Instead you can add a small amount to add flavour to your meal, you can still taste your food, and are consuming less calories….win, win! 

If you would like more advice or guidance on your nutrition drop me an email on becky@ppcoe.co.uk or call 07791 589215.