August 3, 2018
Ahh, eating out…is there anything better than someone else making your food?
My love language is “when someone makes me food” and “physical touch” in that order.
Eating out or ordering food is a “weakness” for a lot of us. Although, I don’t consider it a weakness at all if you do it right!
There are different forms or eating out: restaurant style, and fast food. I’ll be talking about restaurant today because I never want you to feel guilty when out to eat! I struggled for a really long time with going out to eat and feeling like absolute crap at the end of my meal. Even if what I ordered was considered healthy in the eyes of some, I always left feeling lethargic and bloated. Most of the time when I think of restaurant eating I think of date nights or family/friend dinners and it feels like the time to splurge a little. I truly believe that no foods are off limits in this healthy lifestyle of mine but on a daily basis, I do consume certain foods less often or not at all.
Such as grains, dairy, and legumes.
Without these foods I am energetic, I have healthy skin, a healthy gut, and overall feel my strongest and best. Not to say if you eat these foods, you will be the exact opposite of that. Just from personal experience, I find that I feel better when I eat those foods in moderation.
When out to eat I stick to the same idea: I stay away from grains, sometimes legumes (I love black beans + chickpeas) & definitely pass on the cheese.
I think it’s important to note that I eat “intuitively” which just means I eat when I am hungry, and stop when I’m full. I feed my body what I feel it’s lacking at that moment. Whether it be more carbs, fats, or protein. I feed my body based on my exercise levels that day, etc. I do not count calories, or macros, or any of that because that is not a sustainable, healthy way of living for ME. It may very well be for you, which is awesome that you’ve found what works best for you!
If you do count macros, eating out should be easier in the sense that you can order from the menu based on how many calories you have left for the day.
BUT, if you’re like me and don’t count calories, it can be kind of tricky sometimes. Because also if you’re like me, you like to EAT and when there is food in front of you, it’s hard to say no. There are a few ways I make sure I leave a restaurant feeling my absolute best and I am sharing them with you today.
Tip 1: DETERMINE WHAT KIND OF NIGHT IT IS
What I mean by that is if you go out to eat 4x a week, allow yourself 3 of those days to be healthier and 1 day to be your “date night splurge”. If it’s a healthier night you can look forward to the day when you’ll allow yourself to get whatever you want. This mindset for me helps with choosing healthier options.
Tip 2: LOOK AT THE MENU BEFORE YOU GO
When we’re picking a place to go out, we always look at the menu first, we skim and scroll until we see a few options that will work for us. If we look at a restaurant and it’s very specific food and limited options, (an example would be an Italian restaurant with only pasta and pizza dishes), we’ll skip it or save it for that once a week date night.
Tip 3: SKIP THE DRINKS
Skip the soda and alcohol when out to eat. Not only are those extra calories you don’t need, but it’s expensive! I would much rather spend that money on more food. The calories from these drinks are empty calories. They don’t bring you any nutritional value and they are some of the first things we recommend eliminating from your diet.
Tip 4: DRINK PLENTY OF WATER BEFOREHAND + DURING
Before we go anywhere to eat I chug a ton of water. This not only fills you up so you don’t overeat but it’s important to hydrate when eating out. You never really know how much sodium is in the food you eat when at a restaurant so drink up!
Tip 5: EAT SLOW
A very important tip!! Eating slowly gives you a chance to listen to your body and stop when you’re full. When we eat super fast, we aren’t paying attention to how full we really are until we’re already stuffed. Taking it slow is better for digestion as well which will help fight those bloated feelings afterward. Trust me.
Tip 6: BETTER TO TAKE IT HOME
When I started eating slower and chewing my food more (really good for digestion) I realized how huge portion sizes are at restaurants. When we are at home it’s much easier to control those portion sizes and when we’re out to eat, we get what we get. I personally love me a big portion but more times than not I find myself getting full and instead of finishing it, I will almost always take it to go. This way you don’t overeat and you get another meal or snack later on.
Tip 7: AVOID WORDS
Avoid words like “drenched, dipped, smothered, lathered” these are dead giveaways that it’s probably not the healthiest option.
Tip 8: WHAT TO ORDER
So what do you order?!
Treat your meals at a restaurant as you would at home when you’re trying to be healthier. I always make sure I have some sort of protein, carbs, and fats. Ask for dressings, dips, etc. on the side. Ask for their veggie or a side salad instead of fries. I personally always ask for sweet potato fries instead of regular fries or rice. Ask for no cheese and a side of avocado. Ask for your burger or sandwich to be wrapped in lettuce or no bun at all. It’s these easy switches that make a huge difference in how you FEEL after your meal. Most places will almost always accommodate to your needs and more and more places are now offering healthier options. But remember, just because it’s in the “healthy” options on the menu, doesn’t mean it is. Look at the ingredients and decide from there.
These are things that I follow every time I’m out to eat so that I don’t have to feel bloated and that, “I think I’m 3 months pregnant” feeling after eating out.
The most important tip: ENJOY YOURSELF. Jon and I absolutely love eating out. We love to try new places and experience new food. Food is what brings people together, it brings us so much joy! I never want you to feel like you should be afraid of going out and trying new things. Going out is just as much social as it is eating, so not every time has to leave you feeling bloated and lethargic. Going out to eat is a wonderful part of life that I personally don’t make sacrifices for. But we have learned that going out to eat less and using the time that we do go out to really enjoy ourselves, makes the whole experience more fun and less stressful. You shouldn’t have to worry about if you’re going gain weight, or lose progress, etc!
Let me know if you have any out-to-eat tips you’d like to share! Happy Friday!!
all my love,