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10 Ways To Eat Healthy Away From Home

10 Ways To Eat Healthy Away From Home

The hardest part of eating healthy is eating away from home. When your home it’s simple. You know what you have in your fridge, you buy your own groceries, and you can plan your meals accordingly. You can meal prep and control your options. If you do it right you can rid your cupboard of anything that could tempt you to cheat on your diet.  Think of your home as your safe space. You can’t eat a box of cookies or guzzle down fries if they aren’t readily available. But what happens when you have to leave your safe space? You can’t stay home hiding from junk food forever.  Eventually, you’ll have to leave the house. You’ll have to go out to eat with friends or maybe your to busy to meal prep and have to eat on the road where temptation could kick in. Here are 10 ways to stay strong and stay healthy while eating away from home. 

1. Drink Water Throughout Your Meal

One of the biggest contributing factors to obesity is not just what you eat but what you drink. Everyone enjoys an ice-cold coke while eating out, myself included, but choosing soda, juice, or any other sugary beverage will set the tone of your meal and leave your craving unhealthy options. After all, your drink is the first thing you order, you might as well set the tone with a glass of refreshing water and keep the water flowing throughout your meal. Not only will you cut down on your sugar intake but you will feel full faster and won’t have to eat as much to feel satisfied.

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2. Order a Soup or Salad to Start

Starting with a soup or salad is a great way to get satisfied before your main course arrives. Not only are you replacing traditional appetizers such as mozzarella sticks, or nachos with a healthier option but you are limiting the chance to overeat.

3. Be the First to Order

Like it or not we are influenced by the choices people make around us even if we don’t know it. You may have found the perfect meal to order that fits perfectly into your diet. You’re proud of yourself. You are about to order your grilled salmon with steamed veggies, and a salad with dressing on the side when your friend Dave orders the bacon cheeseburger with parmesan truffle fries and you start rethinking your whole order. Your cravings start kicking in and when the server turns to you, you cave under pressure and order the burger with extra fries. If you order first you avoid this issue and maybe could even subliminally influence Dave to rethink his burger and order healthy for once.

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4. Ask to Substitute for Healthier Options  

Just because it’s on the menu doesn’t mean its set in stone. As long as your paying most restaurants would be happy to substitute their dishes to help you stick to your dietary needs. For example, instead of fries ask for steamed vegetables and replace the bun on your burger with extra lettuce. If you are ordering a salad ask for the dressing on the side and extra veggies on top. 

5. Share an Entree

The best way to ensure you don’t overeat is to split your meal with your friend. Not only are you cutting the cost in half but you are also cutting down the calories. If you have no one to share your meal with simply ask the server to wrap up half of your entree before bringing it out. 

6. Order Appetizers Instead

One of the main reasons people overeat is simply because their portions are too big.  If you know you are going to a restaurant with big plates order an appetizer for your meal instead. As many appetizers are fried there are still some that are healthy. For example, smoked wings with sauce on the side or quesadillas loaded with vegetables would be a healthy option.

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7. Look at the Menu

When trying to eat healthy away from home it is important to carefully look at the menu and see how each meal is cooked. Try to avoid courses with descriptions like fried, pan-fried, crispy, or sauteed. Foods prepared in those ways to tend to be higher in bad fat and calories. Instead, go for options that contain the words, grilled, steamed, or roasted. 

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8. It’s Okay to Take Food Home

If you can’t finish your meal don’t force yourself just because it tastes good and you don’t want to leave anything on the plate. Ask for a to-go container and take it home to enjoy another day. Again a big problem with unhealthy eating is overeating. Listen to your body over your brain. If your stomach is full and your starting to feel bloated put down the fork no matter how good that lobster mac and cheese may be.

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9. Be Aware of Health Claims

This goes back to our earlier point of carefully looking a the menu. Just because a restaurant claims it is a healthy option doesn’t always mean that’s the case. Sugars, fats, and carbs are hidden in almost every dish. If you are careful when you eat out just like you’re careful when you meal prep at home you can avoid these issues. 

10. Enjoy Alcohol and Dessert in Moderation

When you are eating away from home especially when you are out with friends for a special occasion it is hard to not indulge and treat yourself to a drink or something from the dessert menu and that’s okay! Just make sure you are mindful of what you decide to order. Instead of fancy mixed drinks such as margaritas, or cocktails, go for a light beer, a vodka seltzer, or favorite liquor on the rocks. When it comes to dessert split something with a friend, or order fruit, or coffee instead. 

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What tips do you have to eat healthy away from home? Let us know in the comments below!