14 tips for eating out
1. Where possible, be the one to suggest the restaurant, so you can choose one with a lot of healthy options, which means you’ll have more to choose from. Japanese or Thai restaurants are often good choices.
2. Start out right. You might think it’s wise to starve yourself during the day to save SmartPoints™ to spend at dinner, but that strategy can mean you end up putting three pieces of bread away, as soon as you sit down at the table. Make sure you have a healthy breakfast and lunch.
3. Have a high-fibre snack just before you go to curb your hunger. Try something like an apple, some carrot sticks with hommus, or a small serve of vegie soup.
4. Decide in advance what’s worth splurging on and what you can do without. Having a game plan in place is helpful when faced with lots of tempting options.
5. If you’re all sharing entrees, place an order for one that’ll work for you too: a prawn cocktail (without the thousand-island dressing), edamame, a green salad, or steamed vegetable dumplings are all good options.
6. Always order your sauce or salad dressing on the side.
7. For your main course, think grilled, roasted, steamed or sautéed, rather than fried.
8. Consider ordering an entree and a side dish, instead of a main meal.
9. Split an entree with a friend. There’s bound to be someone else at the table who’s trying to stick to a healthier eating plan, too.
10. Opt for fresh berries or fruit salad for dessert. Accompany it with a cup of herbal tea or a skim-milk cappuccino – something to sip that’ll keep your hands busy and out of other people’s dessert choices!
11. As for drinking, alternate alcoholic drinks with low-kilojoule beverages such as soda water with lemon or sparkling water with lime.
12. If you are having an alcoholic drink, stick to wine or beer rather than sugar-loaded, high-kilojoule drinks like margaritas and pina coladas. Low-alcohol wine and beer are great choices, because they contain fewer SmartPoints™ than full-alcohol varieties.
13. Put off ordering a drink until you have some food in your stomach. If you drink on an empty stomach, you’re more likely to get tipsy and forget about your intentions to stick to the healthier food options on the menu!
14. A last word: Always keep in mind that healthy eating isn’t about being ‘perfect’. If you get carried away in the excitement of an evening and eat or drink more than you’d planned to, don’t panic. One night won’t affect the scales too much – just make the effort to get back on track the next day.