Choose the Brightest Item on the Menu
Different naturally colored foods have different benefits to our body. The anthocyanins that turn blueberries blue can also keep your mind sharp, the lycopene that turns tomatoes red may also help protect against prostate and breast cancers, and the beta carotene that makes carrots and sweet potatoes orange can help keep your bones strong, your eyes healthy and boost your immune system. In contrast, foods that aren’t nutritious are generally pale in colour, like refined carbohydrates that are beige. As a general rule of thumb, the more natural colors you have on your plate, the healthier and more nutritious your meal will be.
Order Water with Your Meal
The best thing to do is to avoid drinking any beverage altogether with your meals, because even water can dilute the digestive acids in your stomach leading to bloating. But, if you do need a drink always go for water instead of sugary soft drinks or juice. So many of us will use dining out as an excuse to drink sodas even if we normally don’t, but it’s time to say goodbye to empty calories and sugar once and for all.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Plan your meals for the rest of the day, plan where you will be going out for food, have a look at the menu beforehand and plan what you will order once you get there. Even if we go to a restaurant with the intention to eat healthy, we can be tempted at the last minute to go for the unhealthy choice. This is why planning and making a decision before you get to the restaurant can help you stay on track, even when temptations are high.
Many restaurants serve way too much food for one person. We tend to overeat because the food is in front of us. A good way of avoiding this is to ask for half of your meal to be packed for takeaway before it even gets to the table. You can also share one main meal with a friend if you both aren’t feeling that hungry. Always be mindful about your food, and once you feel full stop eating. Focus on the company and enjoying the setting for the rest of the meal.
Salad Dressing on the Side
Ordering a salad is one giant leap in the direction of making the right food choices when dining out, but most commercial salad dressings can unfortunately be filled with unhealthy fats, sugars, and salt. To avoid this, ask for your salad dressing on the side and only use half of it on your salad.
Snack Before Leaving the House
We all know what happens when you go to a restaurant feeling famished, you order just about everything on the menu and make choices you wouldn’t normally make. This is why snacking on some fruits, a protein shake, or energy bar can fill you up just enough so that you can make a wiser choice but still enjoy the food while you are out. Never make the mistake of starving yourself the whole day just because you are going out for dinner that evening. This will only lead to over consumption; eating more than you normally would.
Our 80% healthy, 20% indulge doesn’t mean never ordering dessert. Indulging in dessert every once in a while won’t hurt, just make sure you split it with your friends. Satisfy your sweet tooth wisely. Sharing is caring, after all.