since i began my health and fitness journey at the beginning of this year, one of the toughest challenges for me when it comes to nutrition (and the one i get asked quite a bit about) is how to stay on track when you’re eating out. eating out is inevitable, especially in the summer months when there’s so much going on, so i thought i’d share some helpful tips i’ve learnt over the past few months that have really helped me keep my nutrition in check.
01. customize your order
one of the main reasons we go out to eat, other than to socialize, is to have someone else make the food for us. why not request what you really want? for example if you’re ordering a burger, but you want to keep it healthy – order it without the bun and ask for toppings on the side. or change your side orders to sweet potato fries or a salad with dressing on the side. i’ve always been a huge fan of sauces and dressing, but sticking with proper portion control has made me realize how much we overuse them – especially in restaurants! putting them on the side and dipping your food makes you realize how little you actually need to maintain the flavour.
02. skip the freebies
don’t we all love the free bread or chips at a restaurant? as yummy as they may be, these ad ons are unnecessary and cause you to consume more calories. ask the server if you can skip it instead of having the temptation to indulge.
03. grab a water instead of pop/juice
i’m always guilty of not drinking enough water throughout the day, but lately that’s been all i drink (aside from my usual coffee and tea). there’s a crazy amount of sugar in pop and juices so order water instead. you can even spice it up by asking for a lemon or lime!
04. skip the cocktails
stick to beer and wine instead of cocktails or mixed drinks. there’s a high amount of sugar in those as well. if you’re not a wine drinker, have a beer as a substitute for your daily carbs.
05. pay attention to portions
sometimes the portions in restaurants can be extremely large. instead of stuffing yourself and feeling sick and bloated – pay attention to the meal portions and ask to take the leftovers home. this will keep you from eating too much and ruining your night out with a stomach ache!
06. plan ahead
since i’ve been following the portion control guide on the 21 day fitness & nutrition program, i’ve started to plan my meals a bit better. if i know i’m going to be going out for dinner and i know what would be available for me to eat at that restaurant, i’ll plan the rest of my meals for that day subtracting what i will eat later. for example, if i know i’ll probably have 2 servings of veggies, 1 of protein and 1 carb at the restaurant, i’ll leave those out of my other meals throughout the day to make sure i’m getting all of my daily portions and not overeating.
i really hope you guys found these tips and tricks helpful! keep in mind, it’s always good to see what works best for you and your body – these are just a few things that have been working for me. how do you guys stay on track when you’re eating out – i’d love to hear!