Tips to stay healthy while eating away from home
By PositiveMed Team- Costa Rica Office
Edited By: Stephanie Dawson
Eating outside could mean a mental war with people who are watching their weight or managing certain health conditions, because its no secret that the preparation of the food is different than at home, often meaning higher in in calories, fat, sodium, and sugar. But this doesn’t mean you can’t go out anymore, in fact, the following tips will help you to maintain healthy patterns, relax and enjoy your dinner.
1- Honor your schedule
Be sure to eat your regular meals and snacks and follow your usual eating times, do not avoid any meals in an effort to “save” calories before a big meal, your body and metabolism will feel something is wrong and you will find yourself ravenous, which may lead to making poor choices and consuming larger portions.
Make sure you have your regular physical activity the day you have extra calories, and the next day too, it could help to burn some of the extra calories, try to walk home from the restaurant if possible, after a while dance, walk, move yourself.
Remember, one dinner won’t make you fat, sometimes its good to relax, and enjoy; key word: sometimes. Food is not bad or good, remember that. There are just healthier choices and not-so-healthy choices.
3- Water is your best friend
If you stay hydrated you could easily distinguish thirst cues that can be regularly mistaken for hunger cues, drinking plenty of water can also help you stay alert and offset the effects of eating high sodium foods.
4- Choose carefully
There are healthier options in mostly every restaurant, its up to you if you want a high calorie dinner, or would like a light yet appetizing meal that fits within your calorie budget
5- Ask for Assistance
Ask your server to tell you which foods is the healthiest option and how the food is prepared, and if they will accommodate special requests.
Ask them to do any of the following:
• Not to add salt while cooking
• Trim visible fat from poultry or meat
• Use less oil when preparing your dish
• Remove butter, cream sauce or gravy from a dish
6- Enjoy Your Food
Your attitude while eating counts, if you feel that whatever you are eating will cause you harm, it probably will, be thankful for whatever you are eating, take your time eating, chew slowly, and enjoy your food and the company of the people you are eating with.
It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to communicate to the brain that you are full. If you eat too quickly, you’ll be over-stuffed by the time you receive that signal.
7- Split a Meal
Split rich foods and desserts with someone, and add a salad or raw or cooked vegetables on the side.
8- Watch Alcohol Intake
Some drinks like margaritas and piña coladas have a bunch of calories, choose light beer, mixed drinks with low-calorie mixers, or wine. Stick to just one drink if you are going to have alcohol, since alcohol can be cause for anxiety too.