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My Top 10 Tips on eating out healthily

Have you ever said no to a dinner invitation because you were on a health kick or declined a night out because you were trying to be more conscious about what you drank?

I am pretty sure it's safe to say many of us have. I know at least one person who has used the line ''I'm not coming out for a while, I'm on a diet!" and "I'm staying in this week because I'm trying to drink less alcohol!"

I'm trying to think back to see if I have ever done that.. but I think the only reason I'd decline a night out would be due to lack of funds !! But here's the thing, SO many of us seem to miss out on socialising and meeting up with friends and family through fear of ''going off track'' with their drive to eat healthily.

It's great to want to eat better and feel fantastic in our bodies, but it's not something that you can stop and start, eating a healthy balanced diet should be a way of life. But often that means having to avoid some tasty, not so good for you food or drink.

You know what? it's OK every now and then to eat cake, or have some chips, its all about balance. If you are conscious about living in a healthful way then you really don't need to stay away from eating out or popping out for a drink after work.

However, it can be really daunting wondering what on earth you are going to eat when you get there, what if everyone orders chips... and you love chips! What if I get talked into having a dessert... Oh, my word... just think!

Hey... it's ok! I'm here to tell you there are loads of fabulous ways you can go out with your friends and family and still eat and drink really well

  1. Before you go out check the restaurant's online menu. That way you get to see exactly what you want before you go. If it's a good restaurant it's likely they will be cooking fresh food from scratch. You can always ask if they would change a dish slightly to a more healthy version. Good restaurants with great front of house staff will gladly accommodate. Try this: Ask for a smaller portion of meat and more veg instead.
  2. Order a salad as a starter instead of a more carb dense option. You are likely to feel less full and more satisfied with eating fewer calories overall. Remember to ask about any dressings on salad, ask for simple olive oil and lemon dressing instead of a creamy one
  3. Skip having bread as you wait. Some restaurants will bring out a bread basket, you don't need to fill up on bread if you are feeling health conscious. Just say No.
  4. Order Fish, its a lighter and often healthier choice with less fat. Avoid fried and ask for it to be steamed or baked instead.
  5. Order a jug of water for the table, Sipping water will slow you down and you will eat in a more relaxed way and will allow your brain to get the message when you are full.
  6. Skip a dessert, maybe have sorbet or check the menu for a low sugar option instead or why not share one with a friend -just ask for two spoons!
  7. Eat a lighter meal during the day if you know when you are going out. Or if you had a big breakfast/lunch simply chose a lighter option from the menu.
  8. Be deliberate when ordering. Balance your meal with something from all the different food groups, protein, good fats, vegetables, and whole grains. Order some healthy side dishes to boost your nutritional intake, extra green veg or more salad.
  9. Control your portions. Often you are served a large plate of food and feel you need to eat it. Ask if the restaurant if they would serve a smaller portion or eat until full then ask to take the rest home for lunch the following day!
  10. Order a mock-tail instead of a cocktail. It's just as much fun and helps you stay in control of how much you drink. If you do want to have an alcoholic drink, order a glass of water in between each drink. You will drink less and stay hydrated through the night

It's really all about moderation, live life fully and enjoy every moment, you can do that and still be in control of your health by being more informed. Try not to be swayed by the opinion of others, if you really don't want another drink, or a dessert, be firm and stand tall in your decision. It's your body, your health and you are in charge.

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