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  • Writer's pictureMackenzie Martin

How to be Healthy While Dining Out

Updated: Dec 9, 2019

The idea of dinner out with friends, family, a significant other, a hot date—whoever, can be stressful when you're trying to watch what you eat. But there's TOTALLY little trick & hacks you can use to be able to go out, enjoy your meal & the company that comes with it, and live your best life, while still staying on track.

So, let's dive right into it


#1. Customize your cuisine

Asking for your food to be prepared in a different way than how it’s described on the menu can be a little uncomfortable…I’m super familiar with that feeling & situation. You don’t want to be ‘needy’ or annoying. I can totally relate. But, think of it this way…you’re paying for your meal & the service, so you have the right to be happy with your order.

If you’re still on the shy end of the situation, but still want to stick to your goals & actually enjoy your meal out…there’s another option for ya: lie.

Let me explain:

If you want to order your dish without butter in fear that it’ll be smothered in it, but you’re afraid of irritating your server, lie & say you’re extremely lactose intolerant.

Or, say you want something on the menu that comes fried and you prefer to have it grilled, but you get the vibe that your server is easily annoyed and is an a*hole, say ya have IBS or Celiac. Who's gonna question that?!

This type of lie won’t hurt anybody, nor will it cause a growth spurt to your nose!

#2. Easy on the oil

Many restaurants are notorious for drowning everything in oil. It’s incredibly unnecessary, and packs on way too many extra cals.

So, if you’re trying to watch your calories, this tip can be a key one for you.

When ordering, ask your server if your dish is prepared in oil, and if it is, ask for it either without oil or for them to go easy on the oil. This is a big tip I always give my #nutrition clients to help keep them on track while dining out—and I live by it myself, too.

I always ask to have the chef “go light on the oil” or “can it be prepared without oil”.

#3. Check out the menu & make your choice before you arrive

Almost all restaurants have a website and have their menu linked to it, so use that to your advantage!

Familiarize yourself with the menu before you arrive. Look it over, decipher which plates are your healthier options, and plan out HOW you’ll order it.

When you go in blind, there’s a much greater chance you’ll end up ordering a less healthy option than you would have, had you been prepared. So set yourself up for success by preparing ahead of time!

healthy salad
Sometimes, I even bring my own homemade dressing with me. Preparation>Devastation. ;)

#4. Sauce on the side

Always, always, ALWAYS order your food with sauces and/or dressings on the side. Then YOU have control over the amount you consume.

#5. Portion control is key

If you really want the French fries, and you’ve been eating really well & want a little treat for yourself, have them!...just try not eating a whole basket.

There’s a few ways you can conquer not eating all the fries:

-->You can portion out the serving size that's appropriate for you that will still allow you to stay on track towards your goals, then give the rest to someone else or just get rid of them. *out of sight, out of mind*

-->You can share with a friend & split them. Yay for friendship fries!

#6. Start with a Salad

summer salad

Eating a fresh salad before your main course can help prevent you from overeating at dinner because of the large amount of volume & fiber it blesses your bod with.

Volume (aka the quantity) & fiber make you feel more full.

So, starting with a salad *with dressing on the side* will provide ya with a little more fullness before digging into your main course.

#7. Stay hydrated. Before, during, & after

There’s been tons of studies that have shown that those who drink water 30 minutes before their meal eat less than those that don’t.

You’ll find that when you drink water before and during your meal, you’ll naturally feel fuller & thus be much more inclined to eat less.

#8. Pass on sugary sodas, teas, & cocktails

Trade in the soda or sweet tea for water with a lemon wedge, or any fruit wedge.

Sub the marg for tequila on the rocks with some fresh squeezed limes.

This tip can save you tons of calories & sugar, especially if you order sugary drinks on the reg.

#9. Sub veggies for other sides

lemon garlic roasted cauliflower

If your goal is weight/fat loss or to just eat healthier…veggies > French fries.

Ask your server to replace the greasy side dish that comes with your entrée with the seasonal veggies.

BUT, don’t forget to inquire about HOW the veggies are prepared! *we don’t need them downing in oil or butter*.

#10. Bring something to satisfy your sweet tooth

Sometimes—or most times—after a savory meal, we crave something sweet.

Kick that craving to the curb with some dark chocolate! This is one of my top hacks whenever I go out for dinner to prevent myself from any temptations that could be there to taunt me.

I always have a little chunk of dark chocolate stashed in my purse. It doesn’t need to be big at all, just a bite can completely satisfy a sweet tooth!

Then you won't feel the need to order the deep fried Oreos or double chocolate cake!

I hope these little tips & healthy hacks help you make better choices WITH CONFIDENCE when eating out!

If you have any questions or tips of your own, feel free to leave them in the comments! :)

xo Mackenzie.

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