So, you’ve got the healthy eating down when you’re at home. You buy all the right things and feel confident in your diet. And then you go out to eat. All the rules go out the window, right? Not so fast. For some people eating outside the home is rare, but for others it happens fairly often. Regardless, in order to set yourself up for success when eating out, it’s helpful to have a game plan ahead of time.
Your goals might be to feel good, avoid triggering foods, or even weight loss–all are valid reasons to pay attention to your food choices even when you’re eating out. Keep reading for a few of our favorite tips.
1. If it’s breaded or battered, it has gluten in it. If you think you can just scrape the breading off of it, it’s not that simple. Trust me. I come from a place of experience with this one.
2. Go for the grilled or baked protein instead of fried!
3. Eat your protein and veggies first. When you fill up on the good stuff, you’re less likely to grab the “extras”.
4. When it comes to sides, go for the vegetables!
5. Ask for dressings and sauces on the side. You likely won’t serve yourself as much as the restaurant will.
6. Know that once you start you won’t be able to stop. Ask for a to-go container right away, and put away a portion of food for another meal.
7. Dairy intolerant? Ask questions–many places cook even their meats with butter.
8. Chipotle. That’s all. That’s the tip.
9. Ask the server about allergy-friendly options! Many restaurants do have additional options, they just may not be listed on the menu.
10. If you’ve been told you have a histamine issue, buffets are probably not a good idea. Although, I’d argue that in general buffets are not a great option.
11. Research the menu ahead of time so you’re not scrambling to make a choice that suits your dietary needs and goals.
While these tips are intended to be helpful, please keep in mind that your diet does NOT have to be perfect. Food does not carry morality, and if you go for the fries instead of the side salad, you are no less worthy. You might not feel great the next day, but that decision is up to you. Let thy food be thy medicine!