Finding it hard to stick to healthy places to eat out whilst your lifestyle sees you eating dinner out at restaurants more often than at home?
I love heading out for dinner however it can be tricky to make good choices and to be honest, if going out for dinner is a treat for your family and only happens once a week then choose your favorite dish and enjoy it. However if your eating out more like 5 nights a week, then you are going to have to find some healthy places to eat out. Try applying some of the tips below can help you stay healthy while enjoying the lifestyle you love.
Although I do challenge you to add an additional home cooked dinner to your week. There is nothing more nourishing than cooking clean healthy food at home.
Tips For Finding Healthy Places to Eat Out
1. Choose A Funky New Healthy Restaurant
There are so many awesome new healthy places to eat out in every city. There are healthy, organic, vegan, paleo, wholefoods etc restaurants popping up in most major cities which is sooo exciting. I went to an organic restaurant here in Perth Australia that had an awesome menu full of healthy options, kombucha on tap and a fun atmosphere. Then its super easy to choose off the menu with organic homemade yummy foods!
When flying into a new city or looking for new places in your hometown try searching the following in google before you fly in:
- Raw food restaurants _________ (city name)
- Organic restaurants__________ (city name)
- Healthy restaurants ____________ (city name)
- Whole foods restaurants_________ (city name)
- Natural grocery store____________ (city name)
- Farm to table ____________ (city name)
2. Choose Your Strategy
Two great strategies to keep in mind when eating out are:
- Order anything on the menu and then just eat half of it with a side salad and really enjoy it or eat light during the day – so green smoothie and a salad for lunch.
- Chose something healthier at the restaurant so salmon with vegetables or a chicken salad with dressing on the side.
3. Plan Your Meals
Plan out your week, schedule in what you are going to eat or where you are going out the day before so you know to try and balance out your day with the other meals. Choose a salad for lunch if you are going out for pasta for dinner. This may sound onerous but actually takes only 5 minutes to plan out your day or your week and the better you can get your body functioning and feeling the more time you will gain by feeling super energized!
Also try and drink a big glass of water before every meal. It helps you feel full faster. Choose a tea or a cappuccino instead of dessert or if you feel like it then just share one. And ask for sauces and dressings on the side. Restaurants often add way more sauce or dressing than you need and its sometimes the part of the meal with the most calories!
Don’t head out super hungry to dinner out have a healthy snack an hour before hand such as:
- an apple or some veggies you have in a ziplock ready to go – dip them in some almond butter or hummus or guacamole;
- a handful of nuts;
- plain greek yogurt is great too (no added sugar though!)
4. Eat Slow & Chew More
To get into the habit of chewing foods thoroughly, try counting the chews in each bite, aiming for 30 to 50 times before swallowing. Eating slowly gives you time to signal that its full so you don’t overeat.
Try putting your utensils down between bites to help you better concentrate on chewing.
- Chew every mouthful of food at least 30 times each, until the food becomes liquid.
- Chewing breaks down food and makes it easier on the stomach and small intestine.
- Saliva assists in the digestion of carbohydrates.
Saliva also makes the food more alkaline, which creates less gas. If you are feeling stressed during a meal, take deep breaths, chew, and let the simple act of chewing relax you. Taking the time to chew will help you to enjoy the whole spectrum of tastes and aromas that make up the meal.
5. Pick Your Plate
Need some advice on what to actually order once you get to the restaurant? Here are some tips for choosing the best available healthy places to eat out when you are at the following types of restaurants.
- Go for steamed rice instead of fried rice with your main and depending on what main you order it might actually be better to add more rice with just a little of the main.
- Eat with chopsticks to slow you down.
- Stick with a pasta with the tomato based sauces over a creamy pasta or a pizza.
- Choose a big salad with chicken or salmon and dressing on the side. They are usually huge and really yummy at Italian restaurants.
- Skip the bread.
- Choose two appetizers instead of a main or a salad and an appetizer such as calamari (grilled though not deep fried).
- Choose protein and veggies so sometimes they will have a fish or chicken dish with a starch and veggies. Ask if they can double up the veggies instead of the starch.
- Burrito bowls are awesome, choose the brown rice if possible and load them up with healthy beans, salsa & guacamole.
- Try a paleo bun at Grill’d, Bocado Burger, Paleo Burger or look for other grass fed burger joints Just skip the fries.
- Think fresh, not fried – this applies to spring rolls or egg rolls or other deep fried appetizers.
- Chicken satay with some steamed rice is a good option.
- Thai broth based soups are great.
- Go with steamed rice not fried rice with your main. Curries are yummy but they can be huge so remember you don’t have to eat the whole thing.
- Cashew chicken can be a good option.
- Sushi can be good but try to avoid anything deep fried in the sushi rolls so stick to salmon rolls, tuna rolls, veggie rolls etc.
- Sashimi is great as is some of the Japanese salads they have.
- Japanese broth based soups can be good too.
Best Alcoholic Drinks to Choose
Alcohol is super high in calories and can be really taxing on your liver which has to switch to prioritising the processing of the alcohol rather than other wastes in your body leaving you feeling sluggish and bloated. However if you do have to add an alcoholic drink to your night, try to choose from one of the drinks below and make sure you are drinking lots of water in between and after you finish drinking.
- Gin & Tonic with fresh lime
- Vodka, mineral water & some fresh lemon or lime
- Red wine
- Choose juice as a mixer over soft drinks but tonic, soda or mineral water over juice.
I hope these tips are useful! If you want more actionable tips to help you boost energy levels and conquer your sugar cravings once and for all, check out my new Reboot Video Training Series put together in conjunction with Sarah Klein, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Yoga Teacher.
Click HERE to access the FREE Reboot Video Training Series!