Eating Out – Is Healthy Eating Possible?

It’s easy to blow a clean diet when eating out. This is the number one reason that I don’t like to eat out much because it’s so easy for me to make poor food choices. On the one hand, since I eat out so infrequently, I don’t mind splurging on treats a little more, but on the other hand, if I do, I don’t feel very well. Then I wonder if it’s even worth it.

On my recent travel weekend, I chose to have a small  ‘treat’ everyday. For me, this was a good balance of indulgence while still eating for function. I otherwise tried to maintain my nutrient dense, low glycemic carb, good fat, higher protein diet. This ”treat a day strategy” may be one for you to employ on a holiday. (I wouldn’t suggest a treat a day on a regular basis if you’re interested in getting leaner.)

Here are a few pics of my recent indulgences:

sweet 16 hannah Hannah and I enjoyed yummy peach cobbler and ice cream on her 16th birthday.

I love Mexican food and there’s lots to be had on California. We found an authentic family run Mexican restaurant overlooking mexicann foodNewport Beach to enjoy some of the best Mexican food I’ve had outside of Mexico.

What I want to say is that we live in a culture where there will ALWAYS be delicious food available. I know that I can pass on some of it so that when I do indulge I will thoroughly enjoy it guilt-free. Overindulging makes me feel lethargic. I try to make the meal or treat more about the ”experience” and not just about the food.

I noticed that ”super sizing” is a fact of life in the good ole USA. Many times the portions were larger than life. Luckily for me, this meant more veggies with dressings/sauces on the side. A little extra diligence is necessary when eating out. Here are a few strategies to help you navigate a good restaurant meal:

  • ask how much food is included in the meal and order accordingly
  • return the bread basket untouched
  • order a half portion or share an entree
  • ask to have half your entree packaged for take out prior to getting it
  • ask to have sauces and dressings on the side
  • try to avoid cream based sauces
  • try not to drink your calories (ensure a low cal option for a beverage-unsweetened iced tea, water, mineral water)
  • have an alcoholic beverage with your meal (not before as then over indulgences get a bit easier)
  • share a dessert

Hope that helps with your next outing!