When we eat at home we can control what we eat and what goes into our food. Many people have said to me they are worried about eating in restaurants because they don't know what to order. To help I have written a few tips on how to make healthy food choices when eating out.
Don't turn up too hungry
This may not make much sense at first. However, how often have you gone to a restaurant starving (I know that I have)? You then know that you will probably have to wait another 20 minutes to get your food and by this point you will eat anything in sight. This means you are more likely to order more food than you would normally eat and you may well eat any starters (such as bread) that are brought for you. If you have a small snack before you go out you will order less, which will help your diet (and your wallet!)
Ask for the sauce on the side
You may not realise it but sauces (like salad dressing, ketchup or mayonnaise) can contain a lot of extra calories. This means that your healthy salad may not be so healthy after it has been covered in a sauce that is high in calories, fat and sugar. When you order your food ask for the sauce to be served in the side so you can control the amount of it you have
Choose grilled or baked food instead of fried
Pay attention to how your food is cooked. Generally baked or grilled food will use a lot less fat and be healthier for you than fried and deep fried food. If you aren't sure how your food has been cooked then ask the waiter
Swap your side dish for a healthy alternative
It is no good having a healthy dish if you then eat it with chips that have been deep fried. Ask if you swap any unhealthy side dishes for a healthier option such as baked potato or side salad.
Be careful about what you drink
Drinks are like sauces when you eat out. You don't think of them as having calories and yet they can end up doubling the amount of calories you have at the meal. Be careful of how much fizzy drinks, alcohol or fruit juices you have. Order a jug of water for the table as well as any drinks you want. This will give you something to drink when you are actually thirsty and means you can slowly sip your fizzy drink or glass of wine.
Ok I know this is the part that we are all going to struggle with. However desserts are usually full of sugar and calories. So when I go out and see if there is something that I really want (we can all have a treat now and again). So I only order dessert if I think it is worth it. However the other thing I do is I always share it with a friend. This means I still get to try it but I do not have to feel so guilty about it or I can have my cake and eat it too!