The struggle is real.
No one really eats at home anymore, at least not often. These days, eating out has become more and more of a daily occurrence for young professionals everywhere.
Those of us with budding careers especially feel the need to go out and eat when our co-workers or boss invites us to join them. So then the question becomes, how does one maintain a diet when they’re eating out all the time?
Here are a few helpful tips for remaining faithful to the all-important diet at those yummy restaurants:
- Look Up the Menu Ahead of Time
Most restaurants will have their menu posted online – if so, you should definitely take a look and see what they have in store. Look for and identify all of the healthy options – grilled chicken, healthy salads, vegetable sides etc. Decide which healthy meal you want and stick to it when you finally go.
- Be the First to Order
Since you’ve already decided what you’d like to order, place it in as soon as the waiter asks what everyone will be having. The idea is to not let your lunch/dinner-mate’s unhealthy decisions tempt you to do the same.
- Resist the Fancy Words
When looking at the menu for appetizer options or otherwise, beware of all the filler words that are only there to distract you and trigger your emotions for a particular plate. Restaurants are always looking for ways to entrance their customers into buying more food. Don’t fall for their tricks, and only focus on the plain words.
- Explore Appetizers That Could Be Entrees
Certain appetizer plates make great entrees. The portion is smaller, minimizing the actual caloric intake, and they can be quite refreshing. Especially when it comes to fresh seafood platters, like a shrimp cocktail or a simple salad. Soups are also great to eat as entrees, especially in the winter. You can also use the salad as a way to supplement the appetizer so that you can fill up and be satisfied.
- Know all the Salad Tricks
There’s too many ways for a salad to become unhealthy. For starters, avoid fat-heavy toppings like bacon, cheese, eggs and croutons, or opt to put them on the side so that you can control the levels of each.
The same thing can be done for your dressing. By getting it on the side, you have the ability to use very little and still get a lot of flavor. For example, us the fork-dipping method to get minimal dressing in every bite of salad. You should also sub in traditional dressings like ranch with healthier, more plain options like vinaigrette or something flavorful like a generous lemon squeeze.
- Have a Glass of Wine
Alcohol can be a problem for diet-enthusiasts, but they can also be a major boon if consumed in moderation. One glass of wine, for example, will add significantly more flavor to your whole meal and prevent you from getting tempted to supplement your healthy salad.