As I embark on a new 10-day sugar detox tomorrow and because many of you are joining me this time around, I have been getting a ton of questions regarding: how to stick to healthy eating when you’re not home. It can seem tricky but know that eating out does’t mean you have to throw all of your healthy habits out the window. There are ways to stick to your healthy habits or detox/cleanse even while eating out. Of course, if you wish to treat yourself to a fancy and indulgent meal once in a while, that’s okay too. However, if eating out is a regular part of your routine or if you get an invite while on your cleanse, it can quickly become stressful and taxing. That’s why in this article, I share with you my: Top Tips to Make Eating Out: Healthy & a Breeze!
You’ll see that these tips are very easy to implement and that you’ll also feel a lot better post-meal when you follow them.
Let’s get straight into them:
1. Study the menu in advance
Whenever you can, check out the menu in advance, it will save you a lot of time when arriving on the spot as you will have already highlighted the dishes you want to try and you can even call the kitchen in advance and ask for modifications in most cases. Alternatively, you can always simply do that on the spot too ;).
2. Skip the sugar loaded and gas-filled drinks
Skipping drinks such as sodas, carton juices and sugary cocktails is always a good idea. Not only does the sugar content in them contribute to weight gain and fat storage but it also messes up with your hunger hormones and blood sugar levels. And it can make you crave more sugar foods. Do yourself a favour and stick to water or 1 glass of good quality wine if you do alcohol.
Note: adding some lemon into a glass of warm water can help prepare you for better digestion your foods, so try to have some at least 30 minutes before you start eating.
skip the juices and sodas, ask for water (no ice) or with a bit of lemon added. Drink it BEFORE your food
3. Start with the green + healthy stuff first
It’s always a great idea to start with a healthy green salad or a healthy side of freshly steamed/sautéd veggies. These will add more fibers and nutrients to your meal and will help fill up your belly so that you are not tempted to overeat or choose the unhealthier options. Alternatively, a fresh soup in the colder times is a great starter too!
4. Remember the protein + veggies combination
When choosing your main dish, go for lean protein + grilled or sautéd veggies. Avoid the heavy starches such as rice or pasta or white potatoes. Instead as for extra vegetables. Here are a few heartier vegetables to try with your protein of choice: root vegetables (beets, pumpkins, squash, etc), asparagus, artichokes, mushrooms, turnips, … Also be careful with the added sauces on the side as these are often created with unhealthy oils and can be quite greasy.
5. Skip the dessert!
I know. I know. For many of you, the dessert is the best part. But trust me, it might taste good but it sure doesn’t feel good nor does it add any nutritional value to your body. Desserts are often loaded with sugars, creams, … (even the healthier kinds) and can be difficult to digest after a big meal. That’s why so many people feel bloated or get a food coma after their meal. They are simply overdoing it and it’s not helping.
Skip dessert and instead order a nice cup of spiced or herbal tea such as: licorice (naturally sweet taste), peppermint or ginger (my favourite!). These spices and herbs will actually enhance the digestion of your meal as opposed to hinder it.
Note: if, by the time you get back home, you’re still craving a little something sweet, then at least you can grab a healthier option that you have at home and by then your food has had some time to digest. I recommend waiting 2 hours post-meal before reaching out for dessert!
And there you have it, folks! My top tips to make eating out: healthy & a breeze!
Let me know how your next experience eating out goes and feel free to share your own tips in the comments below.
As always, stay vibrant.