Going and eating out with family and friends is a great way to have some fun and reconnect.
However, numerous studies have linked eating out with poor meal choices and overeating.
Keep on reading to find out our top 11 tips to help you stay healthy while you go out.
Hopefully, these tips should help you stick to your overall health goals without sacrificing your social life.
So, let’s begin!
Look through the menu before you go
If you’re unfamiliar with the menu, give it a read before you get to the restaurant.
We all tend to make unhealthy decisions when we’re distracted or hungry. It’s no secret that the sight and aroma of food can influence our decision-making skills, especially if we’re already starving.
However, choosing what you’re going to order before you arrive makes it much easier to prevent spur-of-the-moment decisions you might end up regretting later on.
You can also book a private chef with Gathar instead of going out. This will help you carefully choose your menu and let you experience the joy of tasty food without compromising on your health.
Learn more: five factors you should consider when choosing a restaurant.
Have a healthy and light snack before you go
If you’re already famished when you get to a restaurant, chances are you’ll end up eating way too much.
One way to stop this from happening is to eat a light snack before you leave for a restaurant. Things like cottage cheese, yogurt, or other high-protein and low-calorie snacks may help you prevent overeating by making you feel “fuller”.
Replace sugary drinks with water
Water is a great choice for drinking with and before a meal, especially when compared to fizzy drinks.
Substituting carbonated and high-sugar drinks with water can help significantly reduce your caloric intake.
In fact, one study found that individuals on a diet who consumed 0.5 L of water 30 minutes before a meal ate significantly fewer calories and lost roughly 44% more weight compared to those who didn’t.
Order your food before everyone else
Sometimes, the people around you can influence your decisions without you noticing it.
This is especially true in social situations like dining out where people tend to copy each other subconsciously.
If you’re not careful, your eating buddy’s menu choices can end up influencing your own and you might end up ordering something that doesn’t sit well with your personal healthy eating plan.
Fortunately, though, an easy way to prevent this from happening is to make sure you order first.
Order a salad or soup as a starter
A fantastic way to help you stop eating too much is to have a salad or soup before your main course.
In fact, studies investigating the effect of pre-meal soup consumption have shown that it can bring down your total calorie intake by up to 20%.
The same study also found that the specific type of soup didn’t really make a significant difference. This means you have a wide variety of options to spice up your meals with!
Order half portions or share with your buddies
Another simple way to cut back on the number of calories you consume and prevent overeating is to order half portions or share your food when dining out.
If you don’t have anyone to share with, you can always ask a waiter to pack up half your meal so you can take it with you when you leave.
Opt for coffee instead of dessert
Skipping dessert and ordering coffee instead can also help bring down the amount of sugar and calories you consume significantly.
Plus, you’ll also enjoy some of the great benefits of coffee like increased energy levels and decreased risk of heart disease!
Look at how food is cooked and prepared
How food is cooked can end up having a massive impact on the total number of calories it contains.
If you’re looking for an easy way to eat fewer calories and fat, try eating food that has been roasted, steamed, patched, or grilled.
In contrast, pan-fried, crispy, crunchy, sauteed, or fried foods generally contain a lot more calories and fat.
Try to avoid all-you-can-eat buffets
It’s no secret that many of us are really bad at guessing portion sizes.
That’s why when we’re presented with an inexhaustible supply of things to eat at buffets, eating the correct amount can be very difficult.
This is why it’s often best to avoid buffets if you’re serious about keeping up with your diet plan.
However, if you have no other option other than eating at a buffet, using smaller plates can help cut down the amount of food you eat.
Similarly, you can use a normal-sized plate and fill half of it with veggies and salad to ensure you eat a well-balanced meal.
Eat and chew slowly
Eating slowly and chewing thoroughly can help you eat less as well as make your stomach feel more “full”.
When eating, try counting a minimum amount of chews each mouthful to prevent yourself from gobbling up food too quickly.
Putting down your utensils after each bite is also an effective way to slow down and give yourself enough time to properly chew your food.
Opt for tomato-based sauces over other alternatives
Finally, a simple but effective way to cut excess fat and calories from your meal without sacrificing on taste is to simply choose veggie or tomato-based sauces over cheese-based or creamy alternatives.
This is also a great way to add some much-needed veggies to your meal!