What to order when eating out to stay on track

The Spring Wellness Challenge is well under way and a question I got from a participant was this:

“Hey Mandy, I’m looking at the month of May and I have a couple of birthday celebrations to go to. Do you have any tips on what to order when eating out to stay on track with the challenge?”

I figured this was a good question and even if you’re not participating in the challenge, a question you might have too!

Here are some tips to stay on track

Look at the menu in advance

I find it useful to look at the menu in advance of going so that when you’re actually hungry, you’re not deciding what to get because your brain isn’t necessarily in it’s best ‘decision making’ mode if you’re hungry. Whereas, if you’ve looked at the menu in advance, you can make more of a rational choice.

Snack before

Keeping in line with the above point, your decisions will not be as rationale if you’re hungry. For this reason, snack on something healthy (and delicious) prior to going so that it’s not such an issue that you eat a massive meal out.

Order a soda water with lemon, or red wine

Depending on if you’re trying to be off booze for a bit, I enjoy ordering a soda water with lemon as it still feels like I’ve ordered a drink. If you’ve decided to drink, a glass of red wine is a good choice too. Stay off beer, and the sugary drinks – but you know that already 🙂

Skip the bread

Just do it 🙂

Go for protein-based meals

Choose a protein as the base of your meal, like fish, chicken or a steak, if it’s good quality meat. If you’re vegetarian, obviously a vegetarian source of protein like lentils, chickpeas or tempeh. I say a protein based meal vs a carbohydrate based meal, like pasta or pizza (even if it is gluten free). If the meal comes with a side carbohydrate, that’s fine, as the protein will help balance out the blood sugar spike. Sometimes, but not always, I prefer to replace the potato or rice with extra vegetables or a side salad, which a restaurant is always happy to do. This would definitely be the healthier choice.

Look for olive oil vs cream based sauces

For the sake of your tummy, avoid the cream based sauces, unless they’re creamy from avocados or cashews. The cow’s dairy may not totally agree with you, but olive oil is a great option and is even amazing for your skin! Same goes for salads – if you’re having a salad dressing, aim for a vinegar and olive oil based one vs a cream or sweet one. The sweet ones tend to have a ton of added sugar.

Explain what you’re doing

Lastly, you may feel awkward about ordering something different, but don’t! Explain that you’re on a health kick in the hopes to feel your best, lose a bit of weight, or whatever your particular goals are, and you’d be surprised how interested people will be.

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