Eating healthy doesn't mean you can't go out to eat! Part of a healthy lifestyle is balance, which also means nurturing your relationships with friends and family at social gatherings that usually involve food. Whether it is a work event, family outing, happy hour with friends, or date night with your significant other, it's manageable! The key is to be prepared beforehand and don't stress too much.
Don't show up "starving." Restaurant sized portions are often much larger than what we should be eating, and if you are ravenous you are more likely to overeat.
If you know where you are going, check out the menu beforehand to see what appeals to you and if they have healthy options.
Start with a salad or soup that is broth based. This will fill you up with nutrients, lower calories and curb cravings before the main dish.
Dressing on the side - Ordering a salad is healthy until it gets smothered in a heavy dressing full of dairy, corn syrup and calories. Oil and vinegar are the best options!
Limit fried foods - Order meats grilled or baked, and ask for vegetables steamed or roasted.
Stay away from heavy sauces and glazes - These might be tasty but they almost always have added flour and sugar.
Don't be afraid to ask your waiter questions - some ideal substitutions include lettuce wrap for bun, brown rice/chickpea pasta for wheat pasta, and extra veggies or salad instead of fries, chips, or bread.
Limit salt - Salt can be sneaky in sauces, dressings, fries, chips, and drinks.
Don't forget to drink water - and don't go overboard with alcohol. One drink (maybe two) is okay, but choose lighter options such as red wine or vodka soda.
Don't stress or feel guilty, perfect is not attainable and it is okay to indulge from time to time. Eat mindfully and enjoy the company you're in!