Guide to Eating Out

I enjoy eating out... a lot. Maybe a little too much considering my wallet is always hungry. Eating out with friends or family can be such an joyous occasion and as conversation and alcohol flows, less and less attention is paid to the health factor of food.

Many people are scared to eat out when on a diet because they feel ill equipped to make choices without ruling out their diet plan. Here are some easy tips to ensure you enjoy yourself while making smart healthy choices!

Before Leaving The House
  1. If it’s your turn to pick the restaurant, make sure you pick one that has lots of healthy choices so you won’t have trouble picking what to eat.
  2. Have a snack before you go out. A high fibre snack like a piece of fruit would help curb hunger pangs.
  3. Decide what you really want and plan your meal around it. If there’s a special dessert on the menu you must try, opt for a lighter main.
  4. If the restaurant has a website, check it out! This can help you decide and plan what you might like to order before the hunger hits. If the website has nutrition information it’s an added bonus!
  5. If the restaurant is close by, why not walk?

When Faced With The Menu
  1. Make conscious decisions about your meal. Don’t let your stomach or taste buds take over.
  2. Choose grilled, steamed, boiled, broiled or lightly stir fried meals. Steer away from battered or fried foods.
  3. There’s nothing wrong with choosing an entrée as a main! If the entrees are quite small, add a side salad
  4. When ordering salad ask for the dressing on the side or choose balsamic vinegar. Chances are you'll put less on yourself than they would put on for you.
  5. Choose meals with extra vegetables or choose vegetable sides instead of chips
  6. Share an entrée or main with a friend
  7. Choose leaner cuts of meat
  8. Instead of creamy or cheesy sauces choose stir fries or tomato base sauces
  9. It’s okay to ask for no butter or mayonnaise! 
  10. When eating: Look out for signs that you’re full. Chew slowly and stop when your stomach is satisfied.

What About Drinks And Dessert? 
  1. Choose still or sparking water or diet soft drinks instead of sugary soft drinks or cocktails
  2. Don’t order an alcoholic drink until you’ve had something to eat. It is easier to become tipsy on an empty stomach and mindless eating can soon follow.
  3. If having alcohol choose wine or light beer & alternate between alcoholic & non alcoholic low-joule drinks
  4. If you can’t resist dessert share it with a friend or choose fruit based desserts

Dessert is usually my weakness when it comes to eating out. I MUST have a look at the dessert menu every time. Usually I would share it or choose lighter mains to balance it out. Eating dessert when your stomach is bloated isn't very comfortable or enjoyable anyway. Remember indulging yourself a little once in a while can be part of a healthy diet. Just remember to not turn the occasional indulgence into a regular habit!

What are your must haves when eating out? Share your tips below!


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The information presented on this blog acts as general nutrition advice and is not tailored to meet individual needs. It should not be used as a replacement for any medical advice you have recieved from medical practitioners. Please discuss any concerns for your health with your doctor or Accredited Practicing Dietitian before starting a new dietary or exercise regime as they can give more personalised recommendations.

I make every effort to ensure information on Nutrition with Wendy is correct and up to date however nutrition is an evolving field and discrepancies can arise. If the information here appears incorrect or out of date please let me know and I will do my best to update my posts.