By Georgie Fitzgerald Georgie Fitzgerald is one of our Balance members who has undergone a…
Tips when eating out
Being healthy when you go out can be very simple, as long as you know what to be aware of. To help you out, we have put together a list of our favourite ways to be healthy when eating out.
The first part of most meals involves a drink. Alcohol is extremely energy-dense and nutrient-poor, as each gram of alcohol contains 29kJ (or 7 calories) – which is a lot. However, if you do choose to have a drink or two, ensure you are doing it at a time when you will actually be able to enjoy your alcoholic beverage. This is usually best before or even after a meal while you’re socialising. Therefore, you can just drink water during your meal in order to quench your thirst, while it also aids with digestion.
The next and most important part of being healthy when eating out is choosing a nutritious option. There are a few really easy steps to help ensure you make the best decision. Firstly, if you are ordering a meal which includes meat, select a leaner cut of meat so that you avoid the overconsumption of saturated fats. Even though these meats might be delicious, you aren’t doing your body any favours. Even if your meat does come with fat, ensure that you are cutting it off. Also, make sure that you are looking at the way in which your meal is being prepared and the cooking method, as this can often hid a lot of unnecessary saturated fats. Try to stay away from anything that is deep fried and cooked in a lot of oil, and instead opt for a healthier cooking method such as: baking, roasting, steaming or grilling.
Sides & Accompaniments
When ordering sides try to swap that tempting owl of fries for a salad or a side vegetables. Fries, especially when accompanied with a sauce, contain an exceptionally high amount of saturated fats and sodium. Even if your meal does come with fries, most restaurants will allow you to replace it with some vegetables instead. If you do choose to have a salad, always ensure that you ask to have your dressing on the side. Dressings often contain a lot of saturated fat and sodium, and by asking to have it on the side, it allows you to control how much you have and prevents you from overindulging.
Finally, where most of us tend to struggle when it comes to maintaining our healthy behaviours is when ordering dessert. Even though you may have been disciplined throughout your entire meal, almost all of us crave a little sweet treat at the end, so we often find it difficult to turn down the offering. However, when it comes to ordering dessert, there are healthier options that you can opt for. Firstly, a fruit platter is always a wonderful option and is something that is offered by a lot of restaurants. This is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth, while consuming a wide variety of essential vitamins and minerals to make your body happy. Our next dessert suggestion is a cup of tea instead of your usual coffee at the end of a meal. Most places offer a wide variety of different teas, with your best options being chia, green and peppermint tea, as they all aid with digestion. However, if you are particularly sensitive to caffeine, it might be best to choose a peppermint or camomile tea at night time. Finally, if you cannot manage to turn down that delicious looking piece of cake, instead of having to yourself, split the dessert between two or three people. When it comes to sweets cravings, we usually only require a small amount so that these food desires pass.
These easy steps should show that eating out doesn’t always have to be unhealthy, as there are numerous steps that you can take to make your meal as happy and nutritiously balanced as possible.