We know the score; you are determined to stick to your diet plan but don’t want to completely eliminate the pleasure of dining out.
You’ve been doing so well, calorie counting, exercising and making sure those unnecessary snacks don’t interfere; you’ll feel like you’ve thrown the whole thing out of the window if you go out for a meal.
Just because you’re being a bit hard on yourself about your weight control doesn’t mean you can’t go out and enjoy yourself. It will require a little planning to ensure you can have a good time and not stray from the tracks.
But we’re sharing some of our top tips for staying healthy while eating out.
1. The night out begins at home…
Just as you wouldn’t go shopping on an empty stomach, it’s a good idea not to be completely starving when you arrive at a restaurant. There’s nothing wrong with having a healthy snack before you go (you can call that your starter), and it doesn’t mean you’ll spoil your enjoyment of the night.
The purpose of the snack is so that you won’t overindulge. If you feel starving when you order your meal, the longer they take to serve you, the hungrier you’ll feel, and you’ll most likely end up wanting everything on the menu.
Take the edge off your hunger with yogurt or some nuts, and drink water too. An appetite suppressant will help, too, as it will help you to feel fuller and avoid overeating.
2. Check the menu before you arrive…
This homework will help you to become familiar with the food being served, and if you’re calorie counting, it’ll be easier to add everything up. You often feel under pressure to order food when dining out, and having a good look in a more relaxed environment will help you make better choices.
This way, there’ll be no distractions or snap decisions. Look at how the food is prepared, the kind of sauces and other factors which could boost your calorie count.
3. Make your choice and order first...
This is quite a neat trick; make your choice of healthy foods, stick to it, and be the first at your table to order. It’s easy to be swayed by others’ choices.
How often have you changed your mind in a restaurant because you missed something on the menu, and when someone else orders it, you jump on the bandwagon and change your mind?
If you’ve done your homework, you won’t have missed anything and won’t be tempted to throw your calorie counting away and give in to temptation.
4. Be smart with your food choices…
One way to be clever with your food selection is to have two starters rather than a main course. There are more likely to be fewer calories in a couple of appetizers than in a main meal, and certainly fewer than if choosing a starter and main.
Main meals come with bigger portions, and smaller portions mean there’s less likelihood that you’ll overindulge. Choosing two starters is an excellent idea if you’re going to a restaurant that prides itself on serving huge portions of everything.
If you go for a starter and a main course, there is usually a healthy option for the former, such as soup or salad, though beware of creamy soup and salads with a lot of dressing. If your meal comes with a sauce, ask to have the sauce in a small jug or on the side so you can decide how much goes on.
5. Don’t rush your food…
No one wants to be the last person to finish eating, but that doesn’t mean it’s a race. The slower you eat, the quicker your stomach will feel complete. Eating quickly can trick your brain into thinking you require more food before it has time to reach your stomach.
Eating more slowly means enjoying the eating process and tasting the flavors and smells. Eating mindfully means you’ll enjoy the experience more and make healthier choices.
6. You don’t have to order a dessert…
This is a difficult decision at the best of times, but when everyone else orders one, it throws temptation in your face.
If there are healthy dessert options, that’s great, and if not, why not choose a coffee or tea?
Yes, the dessert tray looks impressive, but think about how you’ll feel afterward.
7. Swap items if you can…
If your main course comes with fries, ask to swap for something healthier, such as vegetables or salad. You can still enjoy your main and lower your calorie intake. Broccoli, carrots, turnips and spinach are all low in calories and - let’s face it- tastier than fries.
Don’t be afraid to speak up.
8. Order a half portion…
Often, restaurants allow you to order a smaller portion of a main course or a sharing plate. This is a great way to go if you want to eat less but still enjoy the quality of your meal. It’s the perfect way to prevent overeating, but if you decide to share, don’t make it a race to see who can eat most off the plate!
9. Watch those sugary drinks…
Reducing sugar intake is a priority if you want to lose weight, and we often overlook the hidden sugar we take in during our meals. Carbonated drinks are a big player in this, which sadly also includes a number of alcoholic beverages.
For example, a single glass of wine will set you back around 300 calories. If the water is too bland, try a diet or sugar-free option from the menu.
10. Don’t stress yourself over it…
This is the best advice. Sometimes we need a good night out to take our minds off things, including our weight loss journey. If you eat more than you intended, don’t worry, you can still get back on course. You'll be on target again with a slight adjustment to your calories the following week and a little more exercise.
Enjoy your meals…
Staying healthy is all about planning and making the right choices, whether in the kitchen or on a night out. You are responsible for your calorie intake, but this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself now and again.
Make intelligent choices rather than rash decisions, and you’ll be able to have a good night out and not stress about the impact on your weight.If you are trying to stick to your weight loss goals, then PhenQ is designed to suppress your appetite to eat less and cut calories.