Eating Healthy While Eating Out

June 13, 2014 | RD Tips, Real Food | 0 comments | Author:

coldbrewRecently I hosted another #poweredbybits Twitter chat with the fabulous Energy Bits. I wanted to share a recap from the chat because I loved the topic and there was great conversation surrounding it. We talked about eating a healthy real food diet while eating out. In today’s restaurant world of processed garbage a real foodie is often left wondering what to do. Below are some of the answers shared from the chat:

What challenges do you face when trying to eat healthy while eating out?

  • Most restaurants have lower quality foods and contain fake and toxic foods.
  • There is sugar and added ingredients in everything it seems these days!
  • Finding dairy and gluten free options.
  • Resisting the temptations and avoiding the peer pressure of friends!
  • Healthier options are usually more expensive.
  • Not every restaurant has healthy choices. And if they do, you don’t really know how healthy the items are.
  • The portions! If it tastes good I want to eat all the food!
  • The majority of restaurants use refined oils for cooking. If avoiding them then eating out is a big challenge!

Tips for Making Eating Out More Manageable 

  • When it comes to eating out, decide what you care about and what you will not compromise on, and have a plan before going!
  • Aim for 80% and cut yourself some slack and let go of perfection. Just don’t make eating out a habit.
  • Don’t be afraid to interrogate your waiter with questions about your food. It’s their job to know the answer!
  • Check restaurant menus online beforehand.
  • Keep your food choices simple. Make protein and produce the basis of your meal.
  • Stick to water and replace grains with veggies.
  • Order real foods or as real as possible meaning with as few ingredients as able.
  • Choose foods that are cooked healthfully- grilled, broiled, steamed, sauteed. Avoid fried foods.
  • Make easy swaps: fries for a fresh salad, white potato for a sweet potato, processed salad dressings for olive oil and vinegar.
  • Ask for real butter. Restaurants still get real and fake butter confused.
  • Instead of ordering an entree, get a salad and an appetizer. That way you get healthy greens and a smaller portion.

What ways can you upgrade your beverage choices?

  • Skip the sugary beverages like sodas, sweet tea, and sugary alcoholic drinks.
  • Go for water. Try squeezing fresh lemon juice in your cup to help with digestion and boost that immune system.
  • If drinking alcohol choose spritzers, champagne, and red wine. Drink water between drinks and keep track of how many.
  • If grabbing coffee ditch the added sugar and flavored syrups. Go for full fat dairy, coconut, or almond milk. Or drink black!

I enjoyed this fun chat with some awesome real food loving people! I think these are some pretty awesome tips we all came up with! If you have any more tips, I would love to hear them in the comments!