Dining out is often an enjoyable occasion — so feeling confident and comfortable making healthy choices with the options you're given is an important part of continuing your healthy efforts.
The holidays are only a few months away and your calendar will be overflowing with festive celebrations. Now is the time to establish lasting habits so you can approach the holiday season with confidence and you don’t greet the new year with an unwelcomed weight gain! (Stick with me because I’ll be helping you navigate the holidays when they arrive, too.) So here are a few simple tips you can take with you wherever you go:
Don’t be afraid to ask. If you’re having difficulty finding something healthy on a menu, don’t be afraid to ask for a modification. For example, if you’re at an Italian restaurant with a menu full of pasta dishes — consider substituting the pasta for broccoli or spinach. You still get the toppings and sauce, but without the plate full of carbs. If this isn’t an option, ask your server to package half of your entrée in a to-go box, and bring the other half to your table for dinner. Portion control is important, too.
Don’t drink your calories. A very simple way to make a small healthy shift is to choose water. It’s clearly the healthiest choice, but this doesn't mean you can't enjoy a green tea or the occasional glass of red wine alongside your water. Balance is everything, but water is the top priority. And enjoy the financial savings too!
Prepare yourself before going out. Deciding which of the meals are both tasty and healthy can be time-consuming and not the kind of task you want to do while you’re in the restaurant. Be smart and look up the menu online before your visit. From the comfort of your own home, you can research which of the meals is the healthiest, and you'll be ready to order when you get there. Also, be the first to order, to keep your mind from waffling over the choices of others.
Choose an appetizer as a meal. The amount of food you get with an appetizer and a small side salad is usually just the right amount – unlike the oversized portions often found on the entrée menu.
These are simple hacks that can make a big difference in the quality of food you eat while eating out. Take action this week by pre-planning your next meal in a restaurant and congratulate yourself on a job well done.
Tired of the same ol’ lunch? Visit www.sarawolfsen.com to download my free eGuide with Simple, Healthy Lunch Ideas and look forward to lunch again!
Sara Wolfsen is a Certified Health Coach who specializes in helping people make their own healthy changes by providing private health coaching, nutrition education and wellness classes, and gentle weight-loss guidance and support. Schedule your complimentary coaching session and learn more online at www.sarawolfsen.com.