Eating out, whether it’s your favourite restaurant or a completely new venue, is for many people one of life’s simple pleasures. Choosing from a delicious number of dishes, cooked by professionals and with no need to worry about washing up – it’s no wonder many of us prefer eating out to staying in and making a mess in the kitchen.
However, with so much food to choose from, it can become all too easy to overindulge when eating out. As a result, many health-conscious people may find the idea of visiting a restaurant detrimental to their healthy eating, but this really isn’t the case. There are easy ways to ensure your eating habits stay healthy when you eat out, and below we offer some of the most useful tips.
1) Have a healthy snack before you go out
Limiting your food intake on a day that you plan to eat out can be detrimental for your waistline as you will be more likely to overindulge when it finally comes to eating. Eating a healthy snack a couple of hours before going to a restaurant will help to curb your cravings and will help you avoid tucking into the bread basket.
2) Check the menu online beforehand
Most restaurants advertise their menu online, and this offers the opportunity for you to make an educated, healthy choice before you arrive. Avoid checking the menu again when you get to the restaurant and stick to what you originally picked to avoid the temptation of a more calorific dish.
3) Consider gluten-free options
There are gluten-free options available on many restaurant menus these days, and these can help to reduce discomfort after eating a big meal – especially if it is pizza or pasta.
4) Keep it simple
The simpler the meal, the healthier it tends to be, so avoid dishes that include added breading, chips and sauces – particularly creamy varieties – to ensure you do not consume any extra calories or additives.
5) Choose sides of vegetables and salads
Instead of choosing chips, potatoes or grains, you could opt for less-filling and more nutritious options to have as your side dish, such as steamed vegetables or a salad. Try to avoid salad dressings, as these can be calorific and usually consist of sugars and unhealthy fats. Balsamic vinegar or olive oil are healthy, flavoursome alternatives.