3 easy tips to eating out healthy

Sticking to a diet is easy, provided we’re able to stay out of temptation’s way. But for those with busy, sociable lifestyles, eating out is an inevitability, bringing with it the tendency to capitulate and order those delicious-looking fries or saucy steaks.

But while many of us tend to adopt the ‘I’ll try again tomorrow’ approach, there are in fact a few easy ways to steer clear of those ultra-indulgent menu offerings and keep your diet on track without staying in. So whether you’re eating on the go or eating out, here are a few key things to consider to eating out healthy.

Plan ahead

If you’ve got a busy day on the cards, your best bet is to exercise planning. By pre-preparing healthy foods, you’ll be able to avoid falling into the trap of high-calorie, store-bought goodies.

Choose healthy options

There are plenty of healthy and convenient options to choose from when doing your meal preparation. Try preparing some fresh fruit salad with unflavoured yoghurt for breakfast and grill some skinless chicken to add to a pre-packed salad with no dressing for lunch. If you need a snack, ostrich or lean beef biltong can be both tasty and satisfying.

Many convenience stores offer healthy, prepared meals, but think twice before buying them. Yoghurt drinks are low-fat but they are loaded with sugar. Health bars often contain the same amount of sugar and fat as regular chocolate bars, so always check the labels before making a decision.

Restaurants and coffee shops

Celebrations of any sort typically involve eating out – be it in a coffee shop, a restaurant or a bar. Now here’s where things get a bit tricky. But while that juicy burger might look awfully tempting, and it might seem that the restaurant menu is out to get you with its ultra-indulgent offerings, there are a few easy workarounds to dial down the caloric tally:

  • Open sandwiches (with no butter or margarine) are best, especially if the filling is salad based.
  • Fresh green salads with added toppings such as avocado, feta cheese, smoked salmon, roasted vegetables, nuts and seeds, sprouts, herbs, pesto, lentils, beans, tuna, boiled egg, roasted or smoked chicken, roasted lean beef, prawns, fish, and grilled calamari are filling and healthy.
  • While roasted vegetable salads are healthy, remember that vegetables absorb oil. If it’s chilly and you are craving a warm bowl of soup, opt for a vegetable-based soup without meat or cream.
  • When it comes to drinks, think twice before ordering a fruit juice. Unless freshly squeezed, fruit juices are almost always sweetened.

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