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10 Tips for eating out in a healthy way

If you’re trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, eating out can be tricky. That doesn’t mean you have to stay home and miss out however. We share some tips from wellness brand Tony Ferguson to help you enjoy the experience of eating out, without sacrificing your health and weight loss goals.

1. If you know where you’re going to be eating, check the menu beforehand and pick out healthy meals before you go. That way you’ll be prepared and will be less likely to get caught off guard or swept up in the moment of choosing. Sometimes if you’re so busy catching up and socialising, you may not have enough time to devote to making smart food choices.

2. Have a glass of water before you go out – besides filling you up, it will also ensure that your thirst is sated and that you don’t mistake thirst for hunger, and then overeat. Plus, drinking water is healthier than drinking a soft drink loaded with sugar, or alcohol that is usually packed with calories.

3. Pay attention to portion sizes! Restaurants often serve larger than life main meals, so rather share with a friend or partner, or opt for two starters or a salad instead. The magic with portion control is that you can still enjoy most of the delicious meals on the menu (in moderation), and without feeling guilty about ordering them.

4. If there’s too much food on your plate, remember that you don’t have to finish it all. Rather listen to your body and stop when you’re full. If you’re feeling guilty for not clearing your plate, ask for a takeaway box instead and then you have lunch for tomorrow already sorted.

5. Avoid deep-fried or high fat meals. Rather select items on the menu that are baked, grilled, dry-sautéed, poached or steamed. So instead of the fried fish and potato wedges option, request baked fish and a green salad. Or, instead of the greasy hamburger and deep-fried chips, opt for a grilled chicken with steamed veggies.

6. Avoid rich sauces with a cream, butter, cheese, or coconut milk/cream base. Opt instead for pepper, herbs, spices and tomato or soy-based sauces. These are equally delicious but generally lower in fat.

7. Ask for dressings to be served separately/on the side, so you can choose how much you put on our dishes. Ideally, you should rather season salads with salt, pepper, olive oil and a squeeze of lemon instead of with a premade salad dressing (which is usually full of hidden calories – and sugar!).

8. Avoid foods that are high in carbohydrates like bread, rice, pasta and potatoes. If you really cannot avoid them, ask for unrefined carbohydrates such as wholegrain breads, wholemeal pasta or basmati rice. If you do order them, only have a small portion or share one with someone else at the table.

9. For dessert, choose a fresh fruit platter and a coffee or tea rather than something rich and sugary. If you really cannot resist ordering that chocolate cake or something else sweet, then rather share with a friend (ask for two spoons!).

10. Ultimately, maintaining your weight goals is about listening to your body, eating slowly, and stopping eating when you’re full. Often in social situations we get over excited and neglect to pay attention to how our bodies are feeling – so while you’re eating your meal, try to slow down and respect what your body is telling you.

Image: Supplied

Meals enjoyed with loved ones are one of life’s greatest pleasures, so we shouldn’t ever deprive ourselves of them because we’re worried about food. Rather, go for moderation that helps you enjoy delicious food, instead of overindulging and regretting it later. If you pay attention to these tips, you’ll be able to share in good food, good conversation and good company – while remaining healthy.

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