Eating out at Restaurants - Top Tips

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Eating out at restaurants is the best (def one of my fav things to do at least). No planning, no prepping, no cooking, no washing up, loads of varieties of food. It's a time to relax and enjoy being looked after. However, it can also be a bit of a stressful experience when you are trying to eat healthily, lose weight and continue working towards your goals. What is the right thing to eat? Is it ok to get something that you don't eat that often? Should I have one course or two? Should I get a dessert? Should I have a glass wine? Fear not, we are here to help.. Here are our top tips for eating out and how to make sure you stay on track. 

1. How often do you eat out?

If it's a one off, don't sweat it. One meal out every once in a while won't really effect your goals in the grand scheme of things. However, if its on a regular basis, consider and be mindful of how this fits into the rest of your diet. The way I see it is there are two ways of doing this. You either work your other meals that day around what you intend on eating, for example have a lighter lunch. Or you can chose a healthy, balanced meal when you go out and keep it consistent throughout the day. Remember balancing calories determines weight loss/gain, but we need to ensure the calories we consume are also nutritious, so don't forget about your 5 a day!

2. Plan ahead

If you can, look at the menu online or in person before you go to a restaurant and decide what you're going to have. Many restaurants now put the nutritional info online for you to look at too. Deciding what you are going to eat ahead of going will not only help you look forward to your meal out but also help take the temptation away from making not so good food choices. 

3. Share and share alike

Really fancy something but you know it's not the healthiest of choices? Why not ask someone to share? This literally reduces the calories by 50%. 

4. Know what you are eating  

Not entirely sure how your meal will be prepped or cooked? Got a question about a sauce and what it contains? Don't be afraid to ask. The waiter is there to help and advise you. It takes 2 mins for them to ask the chef and report back. Its always better for you to know and keep track of what you are eating. Knowledge is power!

5. Keep it lean

Opt for lean meats such as chicken, turkey, fillet of beef or pork opposed to pork belly or rump steak. If there is any visible fat remove it. Fish is also a great option when it comes to protein, it's full of nutrients too. Also opt for grilled, steamed and baked dishes and limit deep fried and creamy foods, these tend to hold a lot of calories and saturated fat. 

6. Be drink aware

Keeping within the guidelines when it comes to alcohol is important for our health and also helps us continue to manage a healthy weight and lifestyle. Remember there are 7kcal per 1g of alcohol, so for example one measure of gin is about 60kcal (not including a mixer). The recommended daily amount is 2-3 units for women and 3-4 for men and no more than 14 units a week.

7. Alternative ideas  

Want to try and eat out less? Why not bring the eating out to you and host a meal at your house? Sure, it involves a bit more cooking and washing up but you will know exactly what you are eating and you are in control which in turn helps you stay on track :)

If you need any help with this or have any questions, please get in touch, we are always happy to help! 

Ailsa