Sticking to your healthy eating plans at restaurants is extremely difficult. Not only are there lots of tempting meals on offer but it’s also very difficult to determine the ingredients and the calories in these meals. However, with the right strategy, you can still enjoy meals at restaurants without them sabotaging your healthy eating goals. In this article I’m going to be showing you exactly how by providing you with five of the best tips for eating healthy at restaurants.
Tip 1 – Go Low Carb
While there’s no sure fire way to be able to know how healthy a restaurant meal is, choosing a low carb meal is a good start. Carbohydrate rich meals use up very little energy during digestion and are generally quite a concentrated source of calories. Low carb meals on the other hand often contain large amounts of protein which can burn up to 25% of the calories in the meal during digestion. In addition to this, low carb meals usually contain fewer calories than high carb meals.
Tip 2 – Watch The Liquid Calories
One of the biggest ways people sabotage their healthy eating plans at restaurants is by loading up on liquid calories. Many restaurants offer unlimited refills on soda, so the temptation is to drink glass after glass. However, by doing this, you can potentially double up your calorie consumption and this isn’t good for your health or your weight loss efforts. So instead of guzzling down large amounts of calorie rich drinks, stick to just one drink for the entire meal or better yet, drink zero calorie water.
Tip 3 – Pay Attention To Your Appetite
Another mistake many people make when trying to eat healthy at restaurants is eating too fast and ignoring their appetite. This results in them consuming more calories than they need to and feeling bloated and lethargic by the end of the meal. To avoid this, slow down when you’re eating at restaurants, take the time to enjoy your food, pay close attention to your appetite and stop eating when your appetite is satisfied.
Tip 4 – Go Easy On The Condiments
Like liquid calories, condiments can easily add hundreds of calories to your meal if you’re not careful, with many condiments packing over 50 calories per tablespoon. Therefore, if you do have condiments with your meal, make sure you limit your consumption to a single tablespoon.
Tip 5 – Use The 80/20 Rule
One final way to ensure that eating out at restaurants doesn’t disrupt your healthy eating goals is to use the 80/20 rule. This rule is very simple and involves committing to eating healthy, natural, low calories meals 80% of the time and allowing yourself to eat whatever you want the remaining 20% of the time. So if you know that you’re going to be eating out during the week and want to enjoy the meal without thinking too much, simply make sure your restaurant meal falls into the 20% allowance and it won’t have an adverse impact on your long term healthy eating plans.
Making a commitment to healthy eating doesn’t mean that you have to avoid restaurants completely. Simply bear these five tips in mind whenever you’re at a restaurant and you’ll have a great time and a great meal with a minimal impact on your healthy eating goals.