Cooking and snacking at home just to then break all the resolutions at the restaurant. Does this sound familiar? Many can be enormously stressed by a restaurant visit, especially when focused on weight loss and diet – even though a relaxed fine dining experience and healthy, delicious food are not mutually exclusive.
A holistic, healthy lifestyle requires that you take time to enjoy your food with friends and family, and treat yourself from time to time. This positive attitude to food promotes a good body image, helps you and to reach and maintain your ideal weight and supports your long-term well being.
Many restaurants post their menus online at your disposal. This way you can see in advance if the restaurant offers healthy options and whether there are alternatives for special nutritional requirements (e.g. vegan, vegetarian, food intolerances). However, even if the restaurant is not ideal – for example because others have chosen it – with the following 5 tips it is possible to keep your balance and enjoy the meal to the fullest.
Tip 1: The Language used in the menu indicates the ingredients
Those who understand the menu make better decisions when ordering. The following terms indicate that the food may be high in fat:
- au gratin, fried, buttered, scalloped, roasted
- hollandaise, cream, cheese or butter
Better options are:
- baked, grilled, steamed, damped, poached
- in its own juices, with herbs and/or lemon juice
Tip 2: Avoid the bread basket
By stuffing your belly up with bread, even the healthiest meal will be devalued. Especially white bread is a supplier of unhealthy carbohydrates. Additionally, (free) bread tempts you to overeat while hungry waiting for the main meal.
Tip 3: Adjust the side dishes
Even if one chooses a healthy main course, it is possible that one or more of the side dishes are unhealthy. Pasta or fries – in the worst case with a greasy sauce – fortunately can be replaced by healthy alternatives. Instead you could choose a side salad or steamed vegetables. It is best to always order sauces separately – so you can dose them yourself.
Tip 4: Eat half
Often, the problem is not the meal itself but the bulk of it. Alternatively, you can share your dish with your companion or take half of it home. In case you think half is not enough, you can additionally order a big salad or vegetables.
Tip 5: Eat small healthy and light servings throughout the day
Make sure you drink a lot of water and eat a lot of fibres during the day. If you already know that you will eat more calories and carbohydrates than usual in the evening, just try to incorporate healthier and lighter meals in your day to keep your body in balance. For example: Have a bowl of oatmeal with blueberries for breakfast, snack on an apple with almond butter and eat a green salad with grilled chicken for lunch.