It’s Friday night, and you’re excited because work is done and dusted for another week and it’s time to have a beautiful dinner with your friends/loved ones. Eating out can be difficult if you’re trying to move into a lifestyle of eating better, being more active and being more openly cautious about what fuel you are giving to your body. Although I strongly preach balance, and I believe that eating out is never a bad thing, there are some specific things you can do whilst eating out, that can keep you on track, without being that crazy crossfit person at dinner.
1. Ask for salad dressings on the side
Some places drown your salads in super creamy dressings and it’s a bit of an overkill, not to mention unnecessary if you’ve got yummy salad ingredients! Always ask for your dressings on the side, that way you’ll be able to choose how much you want and lower your intake. Also, if you can, swap creamy dressings for a light lemon/balsamic, this way it won’t be super heavy!
2. Opt for water & no alcohol
Alcohol may be great for you on a night out with your friends, but it can really affect your intake of calories! I’m no fan of calorie counting, but one gin and tonic can be upwards of 200 calories! 5 of those on a night out, mixed with other drinks can easily creep up to your entire food intake for the day – which is absolutely CRAZY! I opt for water during my meals so it keeps the food digesting, and leaves me feeling hydrated and refreshed.
3. Check the menu
Before you head out to dinner, check the menu before! It’s always great to be prepared so when you get to your restaurant, you don’t feel pressured to just order something that’s easy – rather than a great healthy choice. This is also a great tip for vegetarians or people with any food allergies, always come prepared!
4. Fried, battered or grilled?
When ordering any sort of protein, check how it is prepared. Always check to ask as some places can say “crispy chicken” but they really mean oily and deep fried! I always opt for my meats to be grilled, as this is the least oily & fatty method.
5. Opt for fresh over cream
When ordering foods like pasta or salads, always opt for a fresh dressing rather than cream based. I always order pasta with a fresh tomato and basil sauce, its light, tasty and won't leave you feeling like you’re about to explode.
6. Watch out for the health claims
Of course, this something that you need to look out for ALWAYS! Claims of “low carb”, “Light”, “low fat” claims are usually packed full of something else to make up the flavour. Typically, “low fat” yoghurt is packed full of extra sugars to cover the taste.
I love going out for dinners with my friends, it’s a perfect time to catch up and have a good laugh. I find going to places that are based on Thai or Vietnamese cuisine have loads of fresh options with incredible taste!
Love, Leah x
Leah Itsines is part of the Women’s Health Fitfluential Network, she’s an Aussie food blogger on a mission to bring healthy back through the use of creativity in the kitchen. Leah believes that being healthy should be delicious and easy with an abundance of different foods!