We all want to socialize, maybe enjoy a restaurant, party, or football game, but we also want to eat healthily and not lose sight of our goals. We think you can do both if you adopt some of the tips below.
- Plan ahead. Preview a restaurant menu online and make a game plan. Consider which options will be available to you at a party and maybe you can be the one to contribute a healthy dish.
- Have a snack first. You know how they say don’t go grocery shopping hungry? Well, the same applies when you go out to eat or to a party. In order to avoid over ordering or overindulging, have a healthy snack before you go out. Try something like a hard-boiled egg or veggies and hummus. We like protein and fiber-rich options.
- Hydrate. Sometimes the body mistakes thirst for hunger. The next time you are “hungry”, try to drink a glass or two of water and wait 15-30 minutes. If you are in fact still hungry, then choose something that contributes a good amount of protein.
- Eat vegetables. Veggies are excellent sources of fiber, which keeps us fuller for longer. Double the veggie sides with your main dish for a low-calorie, nutrient-dense meal that is plate method compliant.
- Ask about the preparation. Something as simple as chicken and vegetables can be prepared with hidden oils, salt, and sauces you didn’t know about. Also, order the grilled or baked option instead of the fried. Knowledge is power.
- Share your meal. Oftentimes portions provided in restaurants are significantly more than most healthy adults need in one sitting. Sharing a meal with a friend or loved one is a great way to mind your portions.
- Ask for a to-go box. Similar to sharing a meal with someone else, you always have the option to share a meal with yourself. As soon as you get your meal, place half of it in a to-go box and enjoy it later.
- Pause in between bites. By taking your time, chewing slowly, and putting your fork down between bites you can tune in to when you are nearing being full, and you can stop eating before you are too full.
- Limit cream sauces. Cream, whole milk products, and butter can add a significant amount of calories and fat to meals. Look instead for tomato or veggie broth-based sauces.
- Ask for dressings and sauces on the side. A single serving of most dressings is about two tablespoons but many restaurants that mix in dressings for you give you much more. It is best to be in control of the number of dressings and sauces added to your food, odds are you will not add as much as the restaurant will.