10 Tips To Be In Control When You Eat Out
While it’s more feasible and a healthier option to dine in going out is a natural part of our social lives, business lives, and life in general. It’s also a fact that nutrition plans and dining out don’t always coexist smoothly. BUT! With a little extra effort, planning, and mindfulness, you can use these 4 tips to be successful at staying on track during any outing, because, we totally get it!
1. Portion Control
It’s so easy to overindulge when you dine out. It’s also really easy to split an entree or opt for a smaller meal and avoid the entree menu altogether.
2. You Can Have It The Way You Want
When you’re following a plan, guidance from a coach, or have set some new goals, it’s easy to slip into a negative and damaging mindset when you go dining out. Try not to look at the menu and say to yourself “I can’t have that” and instead, look at something that you think you can’t have, and figure out why it may or may not be a good idea. You can always ask them to hold ingredients, too, so that unwanted or unnecessary calories are not consumed. Make sure every meal has protein, doesn’t include refined grains, and has minimally processed ingredients.
3. Look At The Menu Ahead Of Time
Getting to know what options are available in a calm, no-pressure setting before you go can help you not feel so… under pressure. You’ll be less likely to make a rash decision or act under impulse. Additionally, if there’s something on the menu that you REALLY want, you can base all of your other meals during the day, around it.
4. Eat Until You're 80% Full
Just because you’re still sitting there at dinner with food at your place doesn’t mean you have to eat it. Eat until you’re 80% full, then immediately ask for a to-go box and put it out of sight.
5. Limit Alcohol With Food
Alcohol can be fun, but it can add some pretty unnecessary calories and carbs to our daily totals that might throw your goals out the window. Not only that, but alcohol can hinder your metabolism, weight/fat loss goals, and contribute to poor quality of sleep (especially in higher amounts). If you do want to have a drink, just make a smart choice. Get a nice alcohol on the rocks or mixed with a seltzer, soda, or water. Skip the sugary drinks (lemon drop, anyone?) for more than a few reasons: they’re more expensive, they have less alcohol, they add TONS of calories and sugar, and they contribute more to a hangover, yikes!
6. Sauce and Dressings On The Side
Sauces and dressings on the side help you eat less. Restaurants are great at giving you 2-4x the recommend amount of dressings and sauces to boost flavor, but if you dip on the side instead of pouring it on? You’re going to use less, enjoy your food more, and stay on track.
7. Share A Dessert
Just gotta have a dessert? Split it! Often times we only have to take a bite or two to enjoy a dessert, you don’t need to ‘take the cake’ on this one. Better yet, have a cup of coffee or tea afterward instead. It’ll still satisfy this ‘dessert want’ without adding in unnecessary things, like sugar, calories, and empty carbs.
8. Drink Water
There’s water on the table for a reason, but most people just let it sit there and go to waste. Have a full glass when you sit down, as you eat, and when you finish. It’ll help you not overeat and hydrate, which, we all could use more of.
9. Avoid The Free Appetizer
FREE BREAD?! How about FREE CHIPS AND SALSA!! How about… NO! You’re going to overeat. It’s as simple as that.
10. Think About What You Need
What did you eat today? What do you need more of to fill out your calorie or macro needs? More protein and fat instead of carbs? Awesome — make a dinner decision that satisfies these, rather than sets them out of wack.
11. Hire A Coach
Having a coach isn’t a sure fire way for you to make better decisions (after all, they can’t make them for you). What can having a coach do? They can teach you tools just like this so that you can stay on track with your goals while enjoying your life. Consider working 1 on 1 with a coach from The Swole Kitchen!