8 healthy eating tips healthy women use when dining out

8 healthy eating tips healthy women use when dining out

As much as I like to brag (humbly) that I can make a burrito for breakfast, cooking isn’t my forte. So my husband and I ended up eating out more than I admit. As someone who’s lived with Crohn’s disease (think: major gut issues) for the past seven years, eating healthy isn’t just a lifestyle choice—it’s the difference between feeling good and staying chained to the porcelain throne. So out of necessity, I became the queen of asking questions and asking for adjustments whenever I dined at a restaurant (yes, I who – which person). cues from the story? You can eat out and enjoy your food (and your life!) while still providing your body with foods that make you feel your best. Read on for a cheat sheet of healthy eating tips and tricks Healthy women don’t leave the house without eating out.

1. Do your research

Whether you’re headed to a Sunday brunch with the girls or a much-anticipated first date, prepare by doing a quick Google search to check out the restaurant beforehand. Giving the list one time will prevent those moments when you panic when ordering fried chicken because others have done so. It will also give you a chance to actually think about the food you’ll enjoy the most and make you feel better, so that you’re less likely to order French fries or pile on pancakes without thinking when you’re hungry sitting in the restaurant.

If you are tasked with choosing where to dinner (even better!), you can take a step further and research the restaurant practices you are considering. Where do their ingredients come from and are they organic and sustainable? What is their food philosophy? Then narrow down your options based on what you value most.

2. Don’t arrive at the restaurant hungry

We’ve all been there: you arrive at the restaurant hungry and can’t help but dive into a basket of bread or chips and sauce. To prevent this all-too-familiar scenario from recurring, don’t skip your typical meals or snacks before your meal. Instead, do yourself a favor and eat balanced, nutritious meals of protein, healthy fats, fiber, and vegetables throughout the day to keep you feeling full and your blood sugar stable. And before you go out, eat a small piece of protein and healthy fats, such as veggies and chickpeas, an apple with almonds or peanut butter, or a boiled egg and a handful of almonds.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions

When I was first diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, I always asked to be the last to ask, hoping that the others I dined with were so immersed in the conversation that they would notice the endless list of questions and adjustments. I was hiding behind my list, worried that others and the server would respond to said requests. But over the years, I’ve learned to speak with confidence and more often than not, I’ve met with patience and kindness when communicating my needs from both ends.

So don’t be afraid to ask (politely) how the dish is made, how large the portions are, what kinds of oils and other ingredients are being cooked, etc. Ask if you can crush macaroni and cheese or mashed potatoes for extra vegetables. The more knowledge you arm yourself with, the better (read: healthier) choices you can make for yourself.

4. Get the vegetables

A good rule of thumb is to always make vegetables the star of your meal. But healthy women know they don’t have to miss out on their favorite foods like pasta, tacos, pizza, or burgers—think about it. adding vegetables for their meal. If you’re drooling over Cacio e Pepe, don’t force yourself to get steamed chicken and broccoli instead. Order a salad for an appetizer and a side of broccoli so you’ll get some fiber and nutrients, then choose the dish you’ll enjoy most (it’s supposed to be fun!). Most restaurants have a salad section or vegetable side options, which makes getting more veggies a no-brainer. Whether you order a salad as an appetizer, double steamed spinach with your appetizer, or have a green smoothie throughout your meal, you’ll add nutrients that leave your body feeling amazing and better digested.

5. Ask for spices on the side

Hate to break it to you: Most restaurant sauces and marinades are full of sugar, salt, artificial additives, and other hidden ingredients that may contain common allergens like soy and gluten. Especially with seasonings meant to enhance the dish rather than control, or sauces on salads that order you to get more nutrients that are good for you, added sugar or artificial ingredients aren’t usually worth the way they make you. Feel, IMO. The good news is that having any sauces or gravy on the side gives you control over how much you use. You can also try asking for healthier alternatives, such as pesto, salsa, guacamole, extra-virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.

6. Listen to your body on portion size

Breaking news: Most dishes served in restaurants in the US are at least twice as satisfying and filling. If you’ve been taught not to waste food since you were a kid and belonging to the Clean Dishes Club is all you know, listen up. Many of us are accustomed to eating whatever is in front of us, so in restaurants with large portions, this means eating until we feel full and uncomfortable and until we feel sick. Check with your body frequently to determine when you feel satisfied and no longer enjoy the food in front of you.

Another tip? Try ordering a family style of sharing appetizer, appetizer, and/or dessert when you go out to dinner with others. Or if you’re introduced to Joey Tribbiani and sharing food isn’t in your vocabulary, consider ordering a box to go before you start researching your meal. Tomorrow’s lunch? examines.

7. Drink more water

Healthy women consider H20 their best friend, so first things first when you sit down at the table: Order a tall glass of water, and keep coming. It can also help you stay hydrated throughout your meal slow down eating, allowing you to check your hunger and fullness cues to prevent overeating. If you decide to have an alcoholic drink with your meal, use healthy ways to eliminate it: sip carefully to fully enjoy the drink, choose a cocktail with fresh ingredients instead of sugars and juices, and don’t forget your trusty glass of water.

8. Eat carefully

Let’s face it: With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we are overwhelmed by the distractions. Between work emails, TikTok, and the latest Netflix binge, it’s easy to rush through meals without pausing. Next time you’re dining out, make use of all of your senses to eat brown. Learn what your food looks like (yes, eating with your eyes is a real thing), smells, textures, flavors, and how it feels. It will force you to slow down, come and enjoy the experience with your friends or buddy. If you find it difficult to practice mindful eating, try placing your utensils under every few bites to develop awareness of your food and the moment. Believe me: digestion will thank you.

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