Healthier Restaurant Dining: Tips For Eating Out On A Diet

healthy restaurant dining

Healthier Restaurant Dining: Tips For Eating Out On A Diet

Eating out while on a diet? Dining out gives us less control over what we’re eating, but it’s still possible to enjoy restaurant meals healthily.

 

Research suggests that food we eat outside of home makes up between a fifth or a quarter (20 to 25%) of our total calorie intake. On average the portions of food or drink that we eat out (or eat as takeaways) contain twice as many calories as their equivalent bought in a shop.

 

If you’re heading eating out while on a diet, here are our top tips for healthier restaurant dining…

 

PLAN AHEAD

 

Many restaurants publish their menu on their website so you can take time to identify the healthier options in advance. It’s easy to get distracted by conversation once you meet your dining companions and end up reverting to an old favourite, under pressure when the waiter arrives. Taking time to consider what you’re going to order ahead of time can help you avoid making snap decisions that don’t support your health goals.

 

DON’T ARRIVE OVERLY HUNGRY

 

If you need to, have a healthy snack before getting to the restaurant. Arriving at the restaurant with low blood sugar levels is unlikely to support healthy decision making. If you’re on the go, organise a small bag of unroasted nuts or a protein bar ahead of time.

 

AVOID THE BREAD BASKET

 

Bread, especially white bread, is a high glycemic food. This means it’s quickly broken down into simple sugars causing a spike in your blood sugar levels. This spike is typically followed by a drop that results in low energy levels. Bread is also one of the most common causes of bloating. If you fancy something to start your meal with, opt for olives instead.

 

DRINK WISELY

 

If you’re planning to drink, have something to eat first. This will slow the absorption of alcohol into your system and limit the negative effects alcohol has on your blood sugar level. In a restaurant environment it can be easy to lose track of how much you’re drinking. Especially when someone else is topping up your glass. If you feel it would help you keep track of how much you’ve had to drink, consider explaining to the waiter or waitress that you’re happy to top up your glass yourself.

 

MAKE SMART MEAL CHOICES

 

Rather than choosing dishes based on pasta, rice or noodles, opt for one based around protein. Seafood, fish or vegetarian proteins such as beans and lentils (Indian restaurants usually offer a variety) or tofu (commonly available at oriental restaurants) are good options. Most restaurant offer vegetable side dishes which can add a flavourful accompaniment to your main dish.

 

EDIT YOUR ORDER

 

When ordering remember you can ask for something different to what’s on the menu. For example, ask for the chips to be replaced with some seasonal vegetables or a fresh salad. You can ask for dressings to come on the side, or swap them for olive oil. Don’t be afraid to ask for things to be changed. Most restaurants are used to dealing with a range of dietary requirements and are normally happy to accommodate swaps.

 

AVOID OVEREATING

 

Slow down your eating, chew your food thoroughly and recognise when you are starting to feel full. Eating out doesn’t have to mean overeating. If you have leftovers that you don’t want to go to waste, ask the restaurant to pack them up for you to take home. Most restaurants are more than happy to do this.

 

END ON A SWEETER NOTE

 

If you fancy something sweet at the end of your meal but are opting for healthier restaurant dining, why not share a dessert instead of having one all to yourself? Or see if you can order a bowl of berries like raspberries and strawberries.

 

Eating out on a diet can be a stress-free, enjoyable experience. Just follow these tips to ensure you stay on track with your healthy habits.



AILSA HICHENS

 

Ailsa is one of our most experienced practitioners. She specialises in helping clients to lose weight, develop a healthy relationship with food and finally feel comfortable in their skin. Ailsa’s mission is for everyone she works with to enjoy the journey and that working with a nutritionist should not be a punishment, but your access to a new possibility.

 

Ailsa is not only an experienced weight loss nutritionist, she is also a skilled coach. She helps our clients overcome emotional eating, destructive habits and self-sabotaging behaviours that have prevented successful weight loss in the past. Ailsa has spent years in clinic working with clients who have experienced yo-yo dieting and have discovered that long term weight loss is not just about eating less until you can stand it no longer.

 

Working with Ailsa you will be comprehensively supported, not only in improving your nutrition and lifestyle, but also your eating habits and your relationship with food. When you work on all these elements together, the results can be truly astonishing.

 

To enquire about working with Ailsa, please contact us.

Test Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of the business. Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning. A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.

NIKKI ANDRIANI

 

Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of th clinic.

 

Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning.

 

A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.

STÉPHANIE ACHAR

Stéphanie is a skilled nutritional therapist and functional medicine practitioner with additional training in eating disorders, disordered eating and obesity. She believes that working towards both physiological and mental health is key in achieving optimum wellbeing.

 

Stéphanie’s personal experience of emotional eating and the ongoing struggle to find the right support led her to combine the science of nutrition with behavioural coaching to motivate and empower her clients. She specialises in helping people who struggle with their weight and their relationship with food. She helps them develop a healthier and more peaceful relationship with food and their bodies.

 

To enquire about working with Stéphanie, please contact us.

INNA WEARN

Inna is passionate about supporting women on their journey to improved health and wellbeing. She believes that the solution to effective weight loss does not lie in ever more restrictive diets, but a more sophisticated approach that optimises health and vitality, as well as promoting effective weight loss.

 

Working with Inna you will benefit from her in-depth knowledge of female health and hormones. She will support you in developing a healthy diet, lifestyle and mindset that ensures you reach your ideal weight and maintain it in the years to come.

 

Inna is passionate about food with a wide repertoire of delicious healthy recipes and meal ideas to ensure your weight loss journey is as enjoyable as possible!

 

To enquire about working with Inna, please contact us.

ANIA MASON

 

Ania is a firm believer that improving your health and losing weight should be a positive, empowering journey, not one centred around deprivation.

 

After being diagnosed with two autoimmune conditions in her twenties, Ania spent several years educating herself on the power of food and nutrition. She put it all into practise and changed her diet and lifestyle, reversing her endometriosis and thyroid disease. After experiencing such a significant improvement in her health, Ania had a big desire to help others. She embarked on a four year journey to study nutrition, graduating from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition with distinction.

 

Ania specialises in autoimmunity and works with clients who have underlying health issues preventing successful weight loss. Her expertise enables her to successfully support our clients with conditions such as hypothyroidsm (underactive thyroid), PCOS and diabetes. 

 

To enquire about working with Ania, please contact us.