I eat out A LOT (2-4 x a week) and I never worry that eating out will make me fatter,

You get used to making good choices naturally…Until then

I’ve put together a quick list of “12 tips to help when eating out”
(whether it’s social celebrations, mid-week lunch at work, or eating out weekends with family)

Not all these tips would suit me and they won’t all suit for you either
but you will find at least 1 thing very useful, so please take from it what you can 🙂

Life is for enjoying as long as you’re eating healthy “most” of the time, you won’t need to worry or be too neurotic when you eat out…

Remember you should have treats EVERY week!

1. Know before you go.

With most restaurants these days, you can go online and look at their menus. See what dishes look healthy grilled items, salads, vegetable sides, and so forth. Decide before you go what you’re going to order, and stick to your decision once you get there.

2. Sit in a quiet spot. (for those that have no “I’m full” or  “stop” eating button)

Nobody knows this, but people who sit in the more distracting parts of restaurants (by a window or in front of a TV) eat considerably more. Commotion makes it easy to lose track of how much you’re putting in your mouth. If you’re making a reservation, request a quiet table. If you walk in and are offered a table in a busier spot, see if they have anywhere quieter.

3. Be the first to order.

You’ve decided to pick something “healthy” off the menu, but when your friend orders the most decadent calorie-laden dish from the menu, you start to rethink… To sidestep the temptation of your friend’s less healthy dish, place your order first. If you can’t order first, then make your decision, close the menu, and repeat your selection to yourself to help you stick to it.
(decide what you can live with- food envy? or body envy?)

If you’re dining at a restaurant you visit often, just ask for your favourite healthy option without ever opening the menu.

4. Have it your way.
Before ordering your selections, ask a couple of questions, this will help you make more informed choices.
Some questions to ask include:

  • What does it come with?
  • Can I make substitutions? (ie chips for salad)
  • Is there a gluten-free option?

5. Don’t be seduced by words.

Mouth-watering descriptions like “tender, juicy chicken breast” or “ripe heirloom tomatoes” are increasingly common on restaurant menus. Be extra aware of sensory terms like “velvety” mousse and nostalgic ones like “legendary” spaghetti and meatballs. Research shows that words that promote taste and texture or appeal to diners’ emotions can increase sales by 23%, and can even influence the way you think the food tastes. Words like these prep your taste buds to expect your chicken to taste juicy, so to some degree it probably will.

6. Stay away from snacking.

The most damage often occurs before the actual meal begins, plus they ruin your appetite for your main meal. Avoid it if its a free basket of rolls and butter, it is so hard to resist when they are there in front of you and you are hungry sat waiting to eat, best to remove them from temptation, just say “no thank you”  (ask the waiter to take them)

7. If you do want something whilst you wait:

Have something like olives, halloumi or some nuts

8. Be salad savvy.

A salad can be a great option (even if it’s not the healthiest, with salad dressing and croutons – it is still usually way better than pasta or pizza… Can always ask for dressing on the side so you can control how much you have.

9. Go low on sides.

Swap chips or “white carbs” for salad or vegetables

10. Don’t worry 

Butter is fine, don’t worry too much about how the meal is cooked, as long as you’re choosing meats with a salad or veg you will be fine…

11. Stop when you’re full 

Put your knife and fork on your plate to indicate you’re done, so that it can be taken away.

13. Chew properly 

Food should be chewed 15 x per mouth full (to be able to metabolise it properly) this is also good to stop you overeating and give your brain a chance to register that you are full.