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Useful Tips When Eating Out

November 2019
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Looking for tips when eating out? You’ve come to the right place. Because guess what? You can eat out, have a life and still maintain a healthy lifestyle. Don’t believe everything you hear or see that says otherwise. The number 1 thing that creates a healthy lifestyle is happiness. Happiness is family, friends, being social, enjoying a meal and some drinks with friends. You do not need to cut your friends or family out of your life to be “healthy”. So here are some tips for when you do go out, so that you’re still optimising your nutrition.

Reading the Menu

If you don’t read the menu online before you go are we even friends? I already know what I want before I get there, I’ll pretend to peruse the menu, and maybe last minute I might be swayed by the specials.

So firstly, work out how hungry you are; just because they offer 3 courses doesn’t mean you have to eat that many. You wouldn’t do that at home, so why now?

What are the mains served with? For example, some restaurants you have to order the sides separately, others its usually a side salad or vegetables and chips. So check the menu and work out how the mains are “packaged” and go from thee.

Maintain your 3 macronutrients. Yes carbohydrates, proteins and fats still matter. Check that the meal you’re choosing contains all 3.

Can you order an entree sized main? So you’ve decided you want to have to meals, an entree and a main. Check whether you can order the main as an entree size too? This will help you to not over consume food, so you’re not rolling out of the restaurant.

Other useful tips when eating out

Watch your alcohol intake. It is really easy to keep ordering drinks when you’re in the swing of things and therefore drink more than you normally would at dinner. You’re out having a fabulous time and the glass is right there, you may not even realise how much you’re reaching for it. The waiters often fill up your glass whilst you’re talking too. But alcohol provides no nutrients, it is empty kilojoules and it will slow the digestion and absorption of your main.

Don’t fill up on all the bread first. Pace yourself. Enjoy the bread, because bread is life, but don’t fill up on all the bread instead of a balanced meal.

Share an entree. If going out to dinner is a real treat, but you don’t want to go home feeling like a blown up balloon why not share an entree? My husband and I do this all the time, but I’ve got to be quick, the man can eat!

Choose a salad or sides if your meal doesn’t automatically come with one. As mentioned above, you need to check what your main comes with. Eat all your side salad / vegetables as part of your meal. I find it handy to start on these and then bounce between my meal and the sides.

Get what you want. Don’t choose a dish on the menu you think you should get, choose what you feel like. Personally, nothing tastes better than a chicken parmigiana so it is really hard to sway me from this.

Eat until you’re full. There are no trophies for overeating, if there was I would have won it years ago. It is OK to stop when you’re reaching the point of full and ask for a doggy bag.

Enjoy yourself. If eating out is not a common occurrence for you, relax! Being healthy is also learning how to relax about food, being kind to yourself and the way you eat.

I hope these tips help you navigate the fun world of eating out. If you’re the person who cooks in your household, there is no better feeling that having someone else cook for you. Am I right?!?


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Written by Jessica Worth, Nutritionist, Sydney, Northern Beaches, Mona Vale.
Jess is a womens health advocate, teaching women how to fall in love with food and themselves to create a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. Are you interested in working with Jess? Please get in contact.

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