You don’t have to completely avoid restaurants when you’re trying to improve (+ maintain) your health.
A few simple techniques can keep you on track + making good food decisions – even when eating away from home.
Tip #1: Plan Plan Plan!
Most restaurants now have websites where you can view menus online. If possible, do your homework before you go. Look through the menu and decide on your choices beforehand, so you don’t fall prey to temptation or succumb to peer pressure from well-meaning friends (Oh, just order the Fettuccini Alfredo, live a little!).
If you live in the US, check out HealthyDiningFinder.com. It’ll suggest “best case scenario” options to you even at less-healthy restaurants (fast-food, chains, etc.)
If possible, choose a healthy-ish restaurant. It seems like new + nutritious restaurants are popping up all over the place – especially in the fast-casual category.
Here are a few of my top recommendations:
Tip #2: Look for the “Magic 3”
If you haven’t decided ahead of time, sit down with the menu and look for the “magic 3” choices:
- Vegetables and fruits
- Lean protein
- High-fiber, slow-digesting carbs such as beans or whole grains (quinoa, brown rice)
Any way you can strategize around excess processed carbs to get lean protein and veggies is good. Don’t be shy about asking for substitutions.
“Can I get some extra vegetables with that? I’m willing to pay a little more if need be.”
- Substitute salad or veggies for higher carb sides like fries, rice, or macaroni salad.
- Ask for no bread basket or chip bowl –- or at least keep it as far from your seat as possible.
Tip #3 – Ask
Know what you’re ordering. (In other words, ask.)
You can’t always trust the menu – so ask the server exactly what you’re ordering.
Here are a few choice questions:
- How are the vegetables cooked? Any chance I could get them steamed?
- Could you serve the dressings/sauces/condiments on the side?
- Could you tell me if the chicken is breaded?
One more “ask” that comes in handy – a to-go box. If the portion you’re served is way too big, ask for a to-go box + place half in the box straight away.
We usually eat everything in front of us (even if we tell ourselves we won’t). Get the extra food out of site and you’ll set yourself up for success.
I work with women who want to learn how to create real + lasting health changes. We’ll use a sustainable, practice-based approach to build healthy habits into your life, one day at a time for an entire year.
As your coach, I’ll provide accountability + direction + support every step of the way. I’ll help you stay consistent, no matter what life throws at you.
If this approach resonates with you, CLICK HERE for details on how to work together.