eating out the healthy way

03 | Jul | 2015

After a week in the sun and the summer season’s busy social calendar in full swing I figured some tips for eating out won’t go a miss for anyone aiming to make nutritious choices or watching their weight. I don’t really drink very much these days so going out for dinner is my favourite treat, here are some tips I follow to ensure I don’t suffer a food hangover!

- Read the menu online before going to the restaurant

Yes, it removes the element of surprise but I like to know what is available ahead especially to suss out the vegetarian options. If you don’t like what you see, pick another place.

- Vote with your feet

You might find you have more promising options with health conscious restaurants that stock locally sourced fresh produce. Show your support for your health, the local economy and the environment by visiting these.

- Skip the starch

Bread and chips are often nutrient poor and calorie dense, filling you up temporary, messing with the blood sugar balance and typically tasting fairly average in my opinion.

- Don’t go to the restaurant starving

Whenever I have done this I make a choice I regret as I end up over eating and feeling really sluggish afterwards. I guess it’s like the not going shopping when your hungry rule?! Have a protein rich snack in advance of going out to ensure you are not lured in by the bread basket!

- Order wisely

Chose dishes with healthier cooking methods like steamed / grilled / baked and order a side of salad or vegetables with your protein. Stay away from the deep fried options and ask for sauce / dressings on the side.

- Double starters

I find this really handy when I’m really hungry but can’t decide whether to have a starter or not. I order a starter and a second option from the starter menu for my main course. Helps with the food envy too!

- Set menu options

I’m not always convinced by the ‘value’ in the set menu options. I mean, are you eating the dessert because you really want it or because it’s part of the three course deal?! Just saying.

- Eat slowly and chew your meals well

Your stomach doesn’t have teeth so chew your food well to assist with smooth digestion. Try to stop eating when 80% full. If you’ve some food left on your, cover it with your napkin!

- Be kind to your digestion system

Avoid eating foods that are either too hot or too cold. Heat debilitates the stomach and creates acidity and the cold paralyses it. Avoid large volumes of liquid with meals as it dilutes digestive juices, aim for a small glass of room temperature water. Avoid eating very late.

- Don’t sweat it!

Not every meal out will be a culinary delight armed with maximum nutrition, and that’s ok too. Do your best but don’t stress out (not exactly ideal dinner company!)

Mary. x