It’s the New Year, and many of us are making resolutions to lose weight and eat healthier this year. I know this is true for me. One of my goals this year is to get back in shape and take back control of my health.
One thing a lot of people struggle with in this area is going out to eat. Many of us love going out to eat at restaurants, and a lot of our socializing involves connecting over meals. But it’s hard to eat healthy at a restaurant! There are plenty of sugary cocktails, appetizers, happy hours, and very large entrees to be consumed. I know for myself, I often leave a restaurant feeling overstuffed. How can we be healthy while eating out? Here are 3 strategies that have worked for me:
3 Strategies to Eat Healthy at a Restaurant
- Drink water. Liquids are empty calories, and the empty calories from alcohol and soda can add up quickly. To combat this, get in the habit of ordering water for your meal. If you need something fizzy, order a club soda and lime. This shift will help you save money as well.
- Order a salad. It can be tough not to overeat at restaurants, because the portions are often huge. One way to get around this problem is to get in the habit of ordering a salad for your meal. A salad is a much healthier option than a burger and french fries.
- Take half your entrée home. In my experience, I have found that when I order a full entrée, I can eat about half of it without feeling overstuffed. But in the moment, it can be hard to recognize when I’m full. This isn’t our fault—it takes the brain about 20 minutes to register when your stomach has had enough food. One way to get around this problem is to decide beforehand to cut your entrée in two parts and take half of it home. That way, you put a boundary on yourself to help prevent overeating.
Discussion: What has worked for you to stay healthy while eating out at a restaurant? Which of the 3 strategies might you want to try moving forward?