When you first start a new eating plan or healthier lifestyle, 21 Day Fix or anything else, eating out at restaurants can be one the the most stressful tests you will come across. Going out for a meal should be a JOY, not a stress, so let’s go through some things you can do to still enjoy the experience without derailing all your efforts.
- PLAN AHEAD! This is the BIGGEST piece of advice I can offer you – plan ahead. Know where you will be eating, check the restaurant’s website, look at the menu and if possible, pick your meal ahead of time. Stay firm in your decision, don’t be tempted by the specials that the server shares when you are seated!
- Choose water to drink. Flat or sparkling water with lemon or lime is an awesome option. If you do want to enjoy a cocktail or a glass of wine, try to limit it to one and sip it slowly to enjoy and make it last.
- Skip the bread basket! Save your appetite for the main event.
- Be careful of restaurant salads, they are often NOT the healthiest option. A lot of times, restaurants add a ton of extras to their salads – dressings, oils, sauces, cheese, nuts, dried fruits. While delicious, these extras can drive the calorie and fat count of your “healthy” meal up and over most other options on the menu.
- Order dressings and sauces on the side.
- Just a taste! Instead of pouring the dressing on to you salad or meal, dip your fork in the dressing and take your bite. You’ll have all the flavour but with a fraction of the calories.
- Order your protein grilled, broiled or baked. Avoid anything fried or breaded. And while you’re at it, avoid anything “smothered,” that just screams heavy sauce.
- A baked potato or rice is a good option for a side, but sometimes the rice can be cooked with quite a bit of butter or oil. Steamed rice is your best bet. An even better option would be an extra order of veggies instead of a starch. But again, make sure they’re not slathered in sauce or butter!
- If the portion is huge, ask for a takeaway box and pack up half immediately to take home.
- Eat slowly. Enjoy the conversation, take your time, and be PROUD that you are sticking with your goals!
Yes, it takes some effort. But it’s worth it and you will get used to making these modifications. OWN the requests you make, never be ashamed of them. You are making healthy changes to your life and you are AMAZING!