Eating Healthy While Dining Out
With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, throngs of people will be traveling and wondering how to stay on track while dining out.
It's important to realize that 80% of your fitness results come from your diet! You could literally spend ALL day in the gym and undo your hard work with ONE meal! So making smart choices is key.
Here are my tried and true tips for eating out:
- Look up the restaurant menu beforehand. Find the nutrition info and mentally commit to ordering a healthy option.
- Don't be afraid to ask your server for modifications to make that "happy meal" actually HEALTHY!
- Grilled instead of fried
- Steamed veggies instead of sautéed
- Sauce on the side
- Cooked with no butter OR oil
- Balsamic vinaigrette instead of creamy dressing
- Mustard instead of mayo
- A fruit cup or side salad instead of fries
- Double veggies instead of a carb
- Skip the bread basket
I usually order:
>> a soup and a salad
>> a salad (or soup) and an appetizer instead of an entrée
Fact: Entrée portions are usually 2-4 servings!
If I do order an entrée, I typically avoid pasta dishes and choose a protein and vegetable. When I go to Chinese restaurants I always ask for the protein and veggies to be steamed, for the sauce on the side, and for brown rice instead of white rice. And always say no to fried rice!
You can also:
- split an entrée with a friend or significant other
- ask for a box AS SOON as the server places that delicious feast in front of you! Box half of it immediately...out of sight, out of mind!
REMEMBER: it’s the SMALL, seemingly INSIGNIFICANT choices that ADD UP over time… and yield long-term REWARDS.
My Lunch Adventures:
While I usually pack my lunch each day, I didn't have time to plan or prep last weekend. So I decided to eat out each day and document my healthy options to show you how it can be done.
I ordered grilled salmon and steamed asparagus from Andora. This lunch entree was supposed to come with rice, but I asked for double asparagus instead of the unnecessary carb.
I stopped at Whole Foods and made this gorgeous salad. And a multi-green Kombucha was an extra healthy treat!
I ordered the lunch special from a local sushi place. I opted for the ginger salad and two avocado rolls with brown rice (because I'm pregnant and can't have raw fish). If I wasn't pregnant, I would order tuna avocado rolls. Again, always opt for brown rice instead of white rice.
Tip: avoid any rolls that are cooked because they are typically fried and covered with creamy sauces. That combination actually equals the fat and calories in a Big Mac! Many people make this mistake because "hey, it's fish." But I assure you, those crunchy rolls are NOT healthy!
Chicken Mishwi Salad from Aladdin's Eatery.
This grilled chicken salad had cucumbers, tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta, and a house-made vinaigrette.
Okay, this is the LEAST healthy option of the week. But it's still better than ordering a plate of pasta or a pizza!
Romano-Crusted Chicken Salad from Bravo.
Instead of the creamy parmesan dressing, I got balsamic on the side.
I hope this helped you realize that you CAN make smart choices while dining out. It just takes a little research and some willpower!
What are your favorite healthy options when dining out?