By Jessica Sepel
When sticking to a healthy diet, eating out can be tricky!
Whilst I would suggest only eating out 1-2 times per week, it is also important to say yes to socialising, and to enjoy life!
Next time you’re heading out, don’t stress! We need to be so careful with stressing about food. Your thoughts can often manifest into bodily stress – and a stressed body equals digestion havoc! Instead, do the best you can to make the healthiest choices possible.
Here are my top tips for healthy dinning in a restaurant setting:
• Enjoy a protein rich snack before you go out. Eating protein before heading out will curb your hunger, and stop you from over eating.
• Fresh is best. When you first pick up the menu, take a look at the salad section. When there are good greens and veggie options, you know you’re making a healthy choice. If salads are limited, check out the ‘sides’ – often you will find a garden salad, or steamed greens. These are perfect options for before, or during, your main meal. In fact, I recommend eating some raw veggies prior to your meal – this fires up your digestive system!
• Go for grilled or steamed. These are the healthiest cooking methods. I often ask the waiter if minimal oil could be used whenever possible. If you make sure to ask nicely, there really is no harm!
• Choose your protein wisely. My main meal is usually based around grilled fish, chicken or lean meat. Vegetarian? If you are unable to find a veggie based main such as a curry, stir fry or soup – ask the waiter if it is possible to make a large salad with cheese/egg or even an antipasto platter. Alternatively, order a variety of healthy sides to make up your main.
• Say no to starch. Hold off on rice, bread and potatoes. Instead, ask for extra veggies to keep you satisfied. At night our bodies just don’t need that extra energy boost!
• Keep dressings and sauces on the side. If your meal is in need of a dressing, go for olive oil, balsamic and lemon-based dressings. I often simply drizzle lemon on my meal to jazz it up!
• Drink before you dine. Have 2 glasses of water 20 minutes before your main meal. This will also help to keep you fuller and prevent you from over eating. Make sure not to drink during your meal, it disrupts your digestive system!
Heading to a dinner party or luncheon?
Choosing your food becomes tricky when attending functions planned by others.
If you find yourself in a situation where a set meal is placed in front of you, make sure to implement portion control.
Following the 80:20 approach means allowing wiggle room to indulge! Believe it or not, indulging is good for you – so long as it’s not all the time!
This approach will heal your relationship with food, and brings a sense of balance and satisfaction to your life.
Personally, I eat super cleanly 80% of the time, and indulge guilt free for the other 20%.
So – If you know you’re heading to a dinner party or luncheon where the food options are not the healthiest, practice portion control, and allow yourself to indulge a little bit. It’s perfectly normal!