I wish I could say that I was the creator of the beautiful salad above, but alas, I was not. I’ve found myself in a bit of a situation these past few days. There has been a lot of dining out now that there are graduations, friends and family visiting from out of town, birthdays, the upcoming Father’s Day, etc. This has left little time for me to cook, and a lot of time for me to stuff my face with tasty foods. We all have those weeks, don’t we?
Tonight I went out with my two best friends and we ate at a Greek restaurant. Like I’ve mentioned in one of my past blog posts, we as people don’t solely eat food for the nutrition. We mostly eat food because it tastes good and it brings people together. Food is how we bond with our friends and family–trust me, I was raised in a family where all we do is EAT or talk about what we’ll eat next when we’re together. I’m telling you, we cousins used to have Ramen challenges and milk chugging contests (I always won if I managed to not laugh).
Back to the main topic at hand. Sorry, I often digress, short attention span and all.
So, how do you stay healthy when you’re dining out at restaurants so often? Oh yes, I have some tips for you.
1. Drink Water
Sodas, ‘adult’ drinks, and even juices are ladened with sugars and extra calories that we don’t need. Choose water as your main beverage. It’ll keep you hydrated and will also help you eat a little less food if you’re drinking it throughout your meal.
2. Order a salad with dressing on the side or no dressing
A lot of times you’ll order salads thinking that they’re ‘healthier’ than a burger, pasta, or sandwich and are lower in calories. What you don’t know is that the dressing, especially the heavier ones such as ranch or blue cheese dressing, probably make your salad as high in calories and unhealthy as everything else on the menu. And let’s be real, restaurants are usually very generous with the dressing and your salads are often drenched.
If you get your dressing on the side, you’ll be able to limit how much dressing you’ll be using or omit it altogether. Also, if a vinaigrette is a dressing option, go for it. It is most likely lighter than the creamier ones.
Oh, and don’t get the bacon with the salad if you’re trying to make it healthier…duh…
3. Eat half and box the rest
If I’m being honest here, the portions in most restaurants in America are HUGE. They are probably large enough to be eaten by two people or in two sittings. Listen to your body. If you don’t feel hungry anymore, or your stomach is feeling quite satisfied, stop eating and box up the rest of your food for tomorrow’s leftovers. Don’t wait until you’re stuffed to stop eating.
4. Skip the dessert
If you had a large meal, skip the dessert menu. It’ll save you money and excess calories.
5. Eat less throughout the day
If you know that you’re going to be going out to a restaurant and you truly want to indulge yourself in a meal fit for a king, eat less throughout the day. We’re technically limited to the amount of calories that we should be consuming throughout the day, so just eat less so that you can ultimately eat more for that one meal.
6. No sides or appetizers
Don’t order fries, eat the free bread, or get any of the sides/appetizers that the restaurant offers–no matter how tempting. I have a weakness for fries and often have to mentally fight against my desire to order 3 different fries. Don’t give into your cravings! NO APPETIZERS.
If I think of any other tips, I’ll let you know. For now this little list has saved me, especially the ‘drink water’ one. Hopefully it’ll help you through the summer!
With my sister back home, we’ve decided that this week will be the ‘last hurrah’ of just freely indulging in everything we can get our hands on, especially since we have tons of leftover pizzas and cake. Hope your Monday was a great kickoff to the week!