No matter how healthy our eating habits are at home something happens when we eat on the go. Blame it on stress, the lack of healthier menu options, or simply a desire to be indulged, but we rarely make healthy choices when dining out.
When you consider research shows that nearly half of all money spent on food is spent in restaurants, it's clear that focusing on improving how you eat outside of the home is vital to your overall weight management and wellness goals. Luckily, there are five simple tips that can help you make smarter choices.
COME PREPAREDHealthy eating is a lot like training for a marathon. The more advanced practice and preparation you do, the easier it will be to succeed when the pressure is on. The following strategies will ensure you are always ready to make the best food decisions.
PACK HEALTHY SNACKSBy having healthy options available like fruit, granola bars, trail mix or unsalted nuts you can always keep hunger at bay. Registered Dietitian Janel Ovrut recommends packing portable snacks in your purse, gym bag, office drawer and even in your glove compartment so that they are always available.
SURF THE MENUWhat better way to prepare for a restaurant visit than to pick your meal ahead of time? By reviewing a restaurant's website before your visit you can establish a game plan. Most popular restaurants provide nutritional information, and for those that don't you can estimate the potential calories through food database websites like calorieking.com.
MAKE A RESERVATIONIf you know you are going to be eating out for dinner, it is often wise to go lighter on your breakfast and lunch. However, using this tactic can be risky. If the waiter makes you, well, wait, you could end up feeling ravenous. To alleviate that risk, make a reservation, and eat your lunch or afternoon snack no more than four hours before your special meal.
TIP:If your time is just too tight for careful planning, then ask the waiter or manager for a healthy suggestion.
WATCH FOR WAFFLING WILLPOWERYou can walk into a restaurant or party with the best intentions of making a healthy choice. But there are often saboteurs lurking.