I know for many folk, entertaining clients out to lunch and corporate functions can be all part of ‘the job’, and grabbing a bite out because time has got away can be a regular occurrence in this busy day & age, but eating out does not necessarily have to be unhealthy, nor cause your waistline to expand. Just follow my top ten tips to healthy eating when dining out and you won’t go wrong!
MY TOP TEN TIPS FOR STAYING TRIM, EATING OUT….
Choose your restaurant wisely. Avoid the obvious, like the fast food diner - that’s just a no brainer. Go for restaurants or cafes that you know are going to cater to a healthy palette. There is no point choosing an all you can eat pasta bistro, as you will have no choice but to eat what’s on offer!
Avoid arriving to a restaurant ravenously hungry. Now I know this might sound like an oxymoron - go out for a meal and avoid arriving hungry, what the?? But what I’m suggesting is if you can at least nibble on some healthy snacks before you go out to dine, you're less likely to over eat or crave unhealthy foods.
Arrive hydrated. Many of us mistake thirst for hunger, so be sure to get your water quota in BUT AVOID DRINKING WATER 20 MINUTES EITHER SIDE OF EATING. This will dilute your stomach acids making it difficult to digest your food. Choose something like a soda bitters and fresh lemon as the bitters will help to produce stomach acids for better digestion, but order it well in advance of your meal arriving and don’t drink during your meal.
Say “NO” to the bread and chips! Most of us fall for the trap of nibbling on the complementary bread or chips that are served while we wait to for our meal. Not only is the gluten in the bread a problem, you can read more about why here but bread and potatoes can be very fattening because of the high starchy carbohydrate content and unhealthy oil used to fry the chips. Think of these two this way “a minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips!” Go for a bowl of mixed olives instead.
Order a side (or two) of fresh steamed Green’s. These are not only healthy but they are a rich source of fibre which leaves us feeling satiated or satisfied.
Avoid starchy carb based meals -such as pasta, pizza, or risottos – the high carbohydrate content will create a surplus of energy that will only turn to fat, unless you plan on jogging home afterwards!
Avoid Alcohol or at least limit it to one glass. Now it is true that wine, red wine especially, actually aids digestion because of its natural acidity, but the body will always process alcohol over food, so drinking too much alcohol will leave the food you’re eating with it in the back seat and this can leave you feeling bloated and constipated later on.
Order two entrées. Now it’s true there is no fun in dining alone so when everyone else is ordering and entrée and a main we don’t want to be the odd man out, so my solution …2 entrée’s and choose the healthiest options!
Order like cave man from the menu. By this I mean go for animal protein and vege or salad and avoid the creamy sauces. Look for lean cuts of red meat (grass fed is best) or chicken (organic if you can) or ideally fish.
Skip the dessert or share a cheese platter and stick to the goat and sheep varieties and skip the crackers – or ask for gluten free.