30 May 5 Tips for Eating Healthy While Eating Out
Life poses a lot of frustrations for the person trying to lose weight and regain their health. One of the most frustrating experiences is focusing on eating healthy when eating out. This is especially difficult when a person ends up going to one of the many Houston restaurants that offers delicious but not-so-healthy meal options.
Fortunately, there are things people can do to enjoy their meal out while still focusing on healthier options.
Why Eating Healthy Is So Hard When Eating Out
Before delving into how to eat healthier when out, it’s important to understand why it’s so hard to eat out in the first place.
The first problem is that there are rarely any healthy options on the menu. Most of the foods at restaurants contain a ton of hydrogenated fats, salt, sugar, and addicting chemicals like MSG.
Another issue is peer pressure, or social eating. People may successfully choose healthier options when they’re at home, but when out with friends choosing the healthy option is way more difficult.
A third area of concern is cravings and willpower. Once a person gets around the delectable smells, the gorgeous presentations, and the sounds of foods sizzling as they cook, it’s hard to say no. It’s especially hard when it’s their all-time favorite foods that are being served.
And finally, portion sizes. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, portion sizes are continually increasing. Since the 1970s, studies have shown that the increase has been around 130-140%. The result: a more than 50% rise in obesity rates.
All of these issues can make eating healthy extremely difficult. Thankfully, there are things that can be done to make eating out at Houston restaurants healthier.
5 Tips for Healthy Eating When Eating Out at Houston Restaurants
Here are four healthy eating tips to implement right away.
1. Check out the Menu Online
It can be such a gift if a restaurant provides an online menu. Make sure to avoid looking at the menu on an empty stomach, otherwise everything looks delicious. Check out their healthy options or see how to customize an order. Then, when it’s time to place an order, willpower will be less of an issue.
2. Customize the Order
Sometimes restaurant patrons think it’s rude to make order substitutions. However, it’s always important to remember that they’re the ones paying for the food and the service. They have the right to have an extra portion of vegetables, the cheese removed from the top of their salad, or the breadsticks taken off the table.
3. Go Straight for the Healthier Part of the Menu
Not all restaurants have their menus posted online. So, when a person arrives to the restaurant, they should avoid perusing the menu. Instead, they should head straight for the healthy section of the menu. Nearly every restaurant has options that are “low fat,” “low calorie,” or “heart healthy.”
4. Box Half the Entrée Right Away
It can be tempting for a person to eat everything in front of them, especially if they were raised in a household where they were told they had to eat everything on their plate.
Waste doesn’t even have to enter the equation here. All a person has to do is order a To Go box when placing an entrée order. When the order is served, box half of the entrée, and take it home. Restaurant leftovers are a nice treat for lunch or dinner the next day.
5. Skip the Soda
Soda is simply empty calories. Or, if it is diet soda, it’s full of chemicals that have been shown to cause migraines and other health issues. Some studies are even indicating that diet soda can contribute to weight gain. Stick with water and add lemon juice for some flavor.
Eating Healthy Goes Beyond Just “Common Sense”
Eating healthy is not always going to be easy. It’s not simply all about common sense. If common sense were all that was needed to solve every problem – including obesity – people of the world wouldn’t have any problems to worry about.
In order to eat healthfully, it’s important to plan ahead, be determined to make the best choices, and perhaps even avoid or reduce going to restaurants with people who have a bad influence on us.
With a little forethought, attention to details, and commitment to their health, people can be successful in eating healthy at Houston restaurants.
Are you struggling with obesity? Contact us to find out how we can help you lose weight, get healthy, and feel great.*