Whether you are on a diet or not, you are going to dine out now and then. Ideally, it will not be too often, because it is better for your health to be cooking the majority of your meals yourself. But considering you will have social events and you will want to eat out on occasion, it is important to know how to do it correctly.
Even if you are following a weight loss protocol, it is possible to eat out and not hinder your progress. If you have Type 2 diabetes, you can still eat out without having to ask for a diabetic-friendly meal.
But there are some things you must do…
1. Read about the restaurant. First, it helps to know the restaurant you are going to. What sort of meals do they serve? If it is a traditional western restaurant, then you should know what to expect. If not, perhaps that is a good thing, because there are few places worse from a health standpoint than American-style restaurants.
2. Read the nutrition information. To build on the previous point, you should read the nutrition information for the meals that grab your attention. Nowadays, you are more likely to be able to do this than ever before. Either look up the information on the website or ask for the nutrition menu. Sometimes you will find a breakdown on the main menu itself.
3. Order your meal first. The influence of your peers is not always helpful: this is particularly the case at a restaurant. You will be more likely to stick to your first, healthy choice by ordering first. Otherwise, you might second guess yourself and be more liable to go for your second option.
4. Don’t get distracted. Distraction is the primary reason we overeat in social settings. We get carried away in conversation and forget to pay attention to our food. Sometimes, we do not even fully appreciate our meal, much less recognize how much we are consuming.
Take care not to overeat.
5. Be careful with sides. Many times, side options are the main culprit. It is not the chicken bolognese that is the issue – it is the fries. Anything cooked in oil should be avoided most of the time.: this is particularly the case on a diet.
Ask for a salad or mixed vegetables as your side when possible.
6. Be wary of appetizers. Appetizers taste great. But the benefits stop there. They are almost always packed with calories. Skip them, and look forward to your meal instead.
7. Drink water. Do not drink soda and do your best to avoid alcohol. They are empty calories. Ask for water – there is no better option.
If you do drink alcohol, however, limit yourself to one drink.
8. Give yourself a break. Lastly, the final tip is to give yourself a break. While this runs contrary to everything else on the list, you have to remember you should not be hard on yourself all the time.
If you have had a particularly good week when it comes to your diet, give yourself a much-deserved break. Eat what you would like most, as long as you do not go beyond your limits.