Summertime usually means more socialising and eating out. For those trying to lose weight or maintain their weight (or just stay healthy!) here are my top 18 Tips For Eating Out:
1. Have two entrées instead of one entrée and one main meal.
2. Have one entrée and one salad or vegetable side serve instead of one entrée and one main meal.
3. Choose between bread, alcohol and dessert (just have one – don’t have all three).
4. Avoid dishes that are rice or pasta-based.
5. Choose tomato-based sauces rather than cream-based ones.
6. Order vegetables or salad as the side dish instead of chips.
7. Instead of meeting friends for coffee/lunch/dinner, meet for a walk. You can still chat and be sociable while getting exercise.
8. Talk to your waiter/waitress. Many restaurants are happy to adjust a menu item slightly to keep a customer happy.
9. Ask for dressings/sauces to be served on the side. Substitute creamy salad dressings for olive oil and balsamic vinegar (or other vinegar). Be aware of the hidden ingredients and sugars that can be included in many sauces.
10. Assess serving sizes in relation to your palm size and approximate handfuls. If the servings are too large, ask to have the excess food put in a container to take home.
11. If you cannot resist ordering something for dessert, try ordering a cup of tea or small coffee instead.
12. If possible, have a look at the menu online before you go out. Make a note of the healthiest options or decide on what you are going to eat before you get there to avoid impulse decisions.
13. Avoid buffet and ‘all you can eat’ style restaurants.
14. Don’t feel pressured to eat something because ‘it’s a special occasion’. There will be other special occasions once you have reached your goal.
15. If you can’t avoid something because your host has cooked it, just have a small portion.
16. Avoid alcohol. If you must drink, set yourself a limit and stick to it. The more ‘tipsy’ you become, the more you’re likely to drink and your resolve to stick to your weight loss plan is lowered.
17. Ask for a bottle or jug of water for the table and drink that instead of soft drinks, juices or alcohol.
18. Listen to your body – ask yourself: do you really need that extra mouthful?