How to Eat Healthy at a Restaurant
Written By Kara Purves
Benicia Herald Newspaper
It’s the easiest cop-out from your health and fitness – Eating out! I hear it almost every day from a client, “Well, we were at a restaurant, so I really couldn’t eat that healthy since I’m at the mercy of their menu.” That is total bologna! Pun intended.
It is actually very easy to eat healthy at a restaurant, you just have to learn some new tricks and adjust your mindset. Here’s some helpful ideas:
1) Be positive and focus on what you have to gain from healthy eating. Often, we get stuck on all of the things we have to give up, the sacrifices we have to make, and the restrictions we have to endure. We create a victim-mentality. You are not a victim of your food! Take hold of the reins, be thankful that you have first world problems and can pick and choose all of your meals in practically any way possible, and realize that your food choices are affecting everything from your moods, energy level, brain function, hormones, performance, and more. The better you eat, the more you have to gain for a quality of life.
2) Drink a glass of water first. Before ordering any appetizers, alcohol, or other sugary drinks, enjoy a tall glass of fresh water. It will help curb tempting cravings, as well as support better digestion. And, if possible, consider passing on any other drinks and just stick with the water. If you do decide to indulge, though, try sticking to just one glass.
3) Start with a side salad. Eating leafy greens and vegetables is a great way to start your meal, and will fill you up a bit so that you are less likely to over-eat. Just make sure to get the dressing on the side, though! A little bit goes a long way with dressing, so use sparingly. One method that helps is the “fork dip,” which involves dipping your fork into the side of dressing with each bite of salad. If possible, go for a vinaigrette dressing, too.
4) Share a main dish with someone. Most restaurants have huge portion sizes. Bigger seems to be better. However, if you are going to indulge at the restaurant, which is totally fine, portion control is key, and one of the easiest (and even fun and more meaningful) ways to accomplish it is by sharing a dish with a buddy. Not only will it bring you two closer, but it will also help control your consumption rate.
5) Order a side dish or appetizer instead of a main dish. Another easy way to control portion size is to simply order from the appetizer menu.
6) Ask for a doggy bag in the beginning. Sounds funny, however, when you get your main dish, before eating it, put half of it into the doggy bag and set it aside. This way, you are committed to a better portion size, and will have some yummy leftovers for tomorrow.
7) Just say NO to All-You-Can-Eat! Too many temptations. Too much consumption. Too many regrets.
8) Dress up. Another tip that might sound silly, but when you dress the part, you are more likely to act the part! When we look good, we feel good, and tend to make better decisions. Also, if you wear a tight dress or a fitted button-down shirt, you will be less likely to splurge and over-eat because you won’t want to get bloated in that outfit!
9) You pick the restaurant. When possible, try to take control of the setting and pick the restaurant yourself. Research online, and look at the menu ahead of time. Be proactive.
10) Chew slowly and thoroughly. Enjoy your meal. Savour the flavors. It actually takes a while for your brain to register when it is full, which is why fast eaters tend to over-eat, and slow eaters tend to eat less and are more satisfied.
11) Get substitutes and sauces/dressings on-the-side. Talk to your waiter and ask what is available. Substitute vegetables for french fries. Get a bowl of fresh fruit instead of a sugary dessert. Ask for extra green beans instead of onion rings. And, always get the dressings and sauces on the side!
WOD for TUESDAY 051617:
10 Lateral Lunges
10-sec Goblet Squat Hold
5 Goblet Squats
60-sec Thoracic & Lats Roll Out
5 OHS with PVC or empty barbell
5 ROUNDS – Ascending Weight
Every 2:30, complete:
3 Overhead Squats
10-15 Hollow Rocks
~ Start OHS @ about 50%, and add weight each round, as appropriate
6 min AMRAP
10 MB Full Cleans
20 MB Russian Twists (1 is 1)
5 x 2 Strict Press + 2 Push Press @ 80% of Strict pPress
Rest as needed