- Eating “healthy” doesn’t necessarily mean you need to avoid eating out. As long as you understand the concept of calories and macronutrients you can roughly gauge what you can eat.
- Bare in mind that unless stated otherwise, most food establishments don;t care about your fitness goals and only care about your taste buds. This means they will use lots of oils and dressings as thy taste good! This can drastically bump up the calories so be wary and ask for dressings on the side or meals to be cooked in a certain way.
- Lots of chain restaurants offer nutritional values on their website and most can also be found on MyFitnessPal. If you need to be more accurate then we’d suggest choosing to eat a these places where possible.
- It is more than likely that going out for a meal is going to bump up your calories for the day which means you need to be more mindful for the rest of the day. If you are going out for the evening, as the meal will likely be higher in fat/carbs, we recommend sticking to mostly protein and vegetables throughout the day to give you a “buffer” in the evening.
- Here are our top tips for eating out:1) If you’re unsure as to what something is, or what it contains – ask! If the waiter/waitress doesn’t know, then the chef will.
2) Plan ahead, if you know you’re eating out later, choose wisely earlier in the day to keep calories, fat, sugar and salt intakes under control.
3) Speak up about how you’d like a dish prepared e.g. less oil/butter, no mayonnaise etc.
4) You’re more likely to over eat at an ‘all you can eat’ style buffet. The more choices you have, the more likely you are to over eat.
5) Choose side orders of salad or vegetables to fill up on. Ask for side orders of fries/chips to be swapped with steamed vegetables or salad.
6) Look out for smaller portions or “light” choices. Restaurant servings are much more than we need, so ask for less if you aren’t sure.
7) Opt for dishes which are grilled, baked, steamed, poached or cooked in own juice rather than fried.
8) Check the menu for dressings on salads and ask for it to be served separately. An otherwise healthy and nutritious salad could be drowned in a high fat sauce, bumping up its calorie content. This applies particularly to healthy “Caesar Salads”, opt for a vinegar based dressing to reduce calorie content.
9) Limit cheese, cream or butter-based sauces if you are in a fat loss phase.
10) Keep it simple and choose dishes where you can see the individual ingredients, as it is easier to eye up portion sizes. Things like lasagne’s, pizzas and curries can vary wildly in calorie content due to different preparation methods whereas something like steak, baked potato and boiled vegetables are much easier to identify.