Just because you’re eating out doesn’t mean you have to throw your healthy diet out the window. With a little bit of planning and menu know-how, you can enjoy a delicious and nutritious meal and resist unhealthy eating choices at your favorite restaurant. In this post, we’re going to take a look at some tips to eat healthy when you’re going out for dinner and why it’s important to do so in the first place.
Reasons You Should Embrace Going Out for Dinner Even When You’re Trying to Be Healthy
There are many reasons to embrace going out for dinner. One of the most common misconceptions about eating out is that it automatically means unhealthy food. But this is not the case. There are many restaurants that offer organic choices and use healthy local ingreadients. Plus, making healthy choices when you go out to a regular restaurant is not impossible.
The first thing to think about is the type of restaurant you’re going to. If you’re at a fast-food place, then obviously your options are limited. Plus, the nature of the food (processed) is not conducive to your health goals. But if you’re going to a sit-down restaurant like an Oyster Bar, then your options are more varied. For example, you can order a salad instead of fries with your meal. And you can order a side of steamed vegetables to go with your oysters or the protein of your choice.
At the same time, it’s important to have balance in life. Yes, you want to make sure you are eating a balanced healthy diet to allow your body to function properly. Yet, getting caught up in the idea of being healthy 24/7 and forgetting about other aspects of life can be damaging. You should not let your diet control your life or dictate what you do. That includes having that meal or snack you love every once in a while – even if it is not that healthy.
It is important to not be too strict with your diet. When you are super strict, you may start to feel deprived, and that can backfire on you. You may end up overeating and start bingeing.
Another reason to embrace going out for dinner is to socialize. Having hectic lives can translate into neglecting your social life. This is not healthy for your psyche, emotional life, or your loved ones. Thus, meeting up for dinner with your friends and family is a great way to stay connected and have a rich community life.
Tips to Eat Healthy When You’re Going Out for Dinner
If you want to stick to your healthy meal plan, you can make it work. Whether you’re dining out with friends or you’re heading out on a date, you can still make it healthy and enjoyable in one go. You can go for the healthier options when you’re actually out and enjoying yourself at a restaurant. Let’s take a look at some tips to help you eat healthy when you’re going out for dinner.
1. Plan Ahead
The first tip to eat healthy when you’re going out for dinner is to plan ahead. If you know you’ll be dining out, take some time to look at the menu online beforehand. This way, you can narrow down your choices and decide what you’re going to order before you even step foot in the restaurant.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
When you’re at the restaurant, don’t be afraid to ask your server about the menu items. They should be able to tell you things like how a dish is prepared, what ingredients are in it, and what side items can work with your goals.
3. Make Smart Substitutions
Another tip to eat healthy when you’re going out for dinner is to substitute. If there’s something on the menu that sounds good but isn’t exactly healthy, see if you can make a healthier substitution. For example, if you’re ordering a burger, try swapping out the bun for lettuce leaves or a light wrap. Or, if you’re getting pasta, ask for whole wheat noodles instead of white flour noodles.
4. Portion Control
Just because there’s food on your plate doesn’t mean you have to eat it all. If possible, order an appetizer or entrée that comes in a smaller portion size. Or, when your meal arrives, put half of it in a to-go box so you can enjoy it later.
There are numerous reasons to embrace going out for dinner. You should remember that your diet shouldn’t be your whole life focus and that socializing is important. With that being said, you can still stick to your healthy diet with a little bit of planning and some smart ordering decisions. So next time you find yourself at a restaurant, remember these tips to eat healthy when you’re going out to eat and enjoy a delicious and nutritious meal!
To a Fitter Healthier You,