5 ways to keep it healthy while eating out

Avoid post-restaurant regret with these hot tips from health and fitness guru Sam Wood! 

There is nothing greater than dining out with family and friends. It’s one of life’s simple pleasures and something I love to do in my spare time.

We're so lucky here in Australia to be surrounded by so many amazing, delicious and culturally-diverse cafes and restaurants so it would be a shame not to take advantage of them.

Trying to improve your health and fitness shouldn’t mean missing out. It simply means making better choices more often.

To help you avoid post-restaurant regret and potentially create a negative association with something you love, I have put together a list of simple tips to help you make better choices when dining out.

1. Do your homework

With technology at your fingertips, it’s easier than ever to check out restaurants in your area in advance. If you can, choose a spot where you know healthy meals are available so you’re not stuck for options.

Browse the menu the night before and plan what you’re going to eat. That way, you won’t be overwhelmed by a hovering waiter and impulsively order the hotcakes (with extra cream).

2. No one likes a hangry friend

Turning up to a café or restaurant when you're absolutely starving can be a recipe for disaster. The same applies to grocery shopping. That's why I always recommend you ‘snack before you shop’. You’re more likely to over-order or overeat and less likely to go for a healthier option when your tummy is rumbling.

Also make sure you drink plenty of water at least half an hour before a meal as dehydration often rears its head as hunger.

3. Don’t bite your tongue

If you need to make a change or want to ask for a healthier option - don’t be afraid to speak up! Most venues are pretty accommodating, particularly with the growing number of Aussies wanting a healthier alternative.

And yes, this might mean asking a couple of polite questions to the waiting staff or pushing back against the peer pressure of your friends. 

4. Bigger isn’t always better

In a food service world where the typical perception is that 'bigger is better', and we're all looking for great value, most dining outlets will serve portion sizes bigger than your standard home cooked meal. 

If you're going to try a few dishes, consider ordering an entrée instead of a main, share a meal with friends or simply stop when you’re full. You don’t always have to finish everything on your plate.

5. Hold the sauce

More often than not, the sauces and dressings used at cafés and restaurants add a lot of unnecessary fat and calories to your meal. Ask for your sauce on the side or go for a simple drizzle of olive oil and balsamic. Voila! 

Remember - it's okay to treat yourself from time to time, but moderation is key. 

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