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In case you didn’t know I literally lost over 50 pounds after gaining like 60. And I ate out every week because I was able to choose the healthiest eat out options when I went out. I had to be on a strict diet BUT one thing that I did not want is to sacrifice my eating out just because I wanted to lose weight. Eating out is a part of my way of life which is why I had to master the art of eating healthy while eating out. I have lost 6 pounds in one week before and still ate out (see my blog here).
And that was with no exercise. So that just goes to show how important your eating is when it comes to losing weight. But of course, you do not want to be a shut-in and skip out on dining out because of your diet restrictions. Since I know what it is like to not want to stop your life when you are on a diet and I still lost over 50 pounds, I feel like I am the perfect person to tell you how I was able to maintain my diet and still eat healthy when eating out.
The wonderful thing about this day and age is that restaurants are becoming pro-healthy, so choosing the healthiest eat out options is not as hard as you might think. All of the pictures below are from actual times when I ate out. You can follow my Instagram page here as I try to eat healthy often. Let’s get into “How To Choose The Healthiest Eat Out Options & Still Lose Weight” shall we?
How To Choose The Healthiest Eat Out Options & Still Lose Weight ~ Go To The Healthy Section of the Menu
Oftentimes restaurants specifically have vegan, vegetarian, or low carb items marked on the menu. AND the restaurants normally tell you how many calories on in each item. Therefore, when you eat out try to just from these parts of the menu. What helped me was that I did not even look at the other parts of the menu because I did not want to get tempted. Just fix your eyes on the health sections and order from there.
Make sure you look at the carb count and/or the calorie count. I know some people count their calories, some people count carbs, and some people count weight watcher points whatever points you are counting make sure that you are paying attention to that even when shopping from the healthy menu. Just because it is on the healthy menu does not mean you can just trust it and eat whatever. It can still have a high carb count which is not going to be helpful if you are on a low carb diet.
Eating Healthy When Eating Out ~ Soup and Salad
Choosing the healthiest eat out options and still lose weight. Remember, once again a popular option at the restaurant is to get a soup and salad combination. But there is a key to this. It is not helpful to get a calorie-packed soup and have 10 bowls of it that are not going to help you lose weight. When you order the soup and a salad you need to first eat salad. And a lot of. Salad is one of those foods that are filler food. Meaning that you will get full from the salad but it does not have a lot of calories.
This is a really good option for places that have an unlimited salad like Olive Garden. Also, when you are eating salads watch the type of dressing you put on it. There is no need of eating a salad and having 500 calories worth of dressing. You can choose for a vinaigrette or even an oil and vinegar they tend to be good options. As for the soup try to choose a lower-calorie broth-based soup over something like a baked potato soup that has more carbs and heavy creams.
How To Choose The Healthiest Eat Out Options & Still Lose Weight ~ Substitute the fat stuff
I have become famous for this. When you eat out and when you get an entree you will notice that many meals will come with a side of potatoes or something that is high calorie. You can substitute things in your main dish or you can substitute your side dish. Often times instead of meat I will get tofu instead. Or instead of getting baked potato for a side dish, you can opt for a veggie like broccoli or asparagus.
Ordering a veggie burger over a regular burger or choosing a side salad over regular fries makes a huge difference. Choosing a wheat bun over a white bun, or skipping the bun altogether is also a good option. Also, be careful about the type of meat you have. Choose baked chicken over fried chicken. In the end, making small substitutions in your meal can be the difference between sticking to a diet and losing weight and breaking one and gaining weight.
Eating Healthy When Eating Out ~ Eating an Appetizer as an Entree
When learning how to choose the healthiest eat out options appetizers are typically used to eat before your meal, but replacing your whole meal with an appetizer is a great option as well. This is something that I do more than any of the other options. The appetizers may not always be healthy but at least it is smaller portion size and is not much of a big deal as a full entree.
You can also opt for a healthy appetizer that way you will be healthy and get a smaller size. In case you think that the appetizer will be too small, then just get a side salad option so that it will help fill you up. There is a key to picking an appetizer though. Just to give you an idea I have gotten things like steamed mussels, cauliflower wings, spinach dip, or veggie rolls with rice paper. These tend to be healthier then picking the fried onion bloom that has a bunch of carbs and is all fried.
How To Choose The Healthiest Eat Out Options & Still Lose Weight ~ Zero Calorie Drink
When people go out to eat, they may get an alcoholic drink, soda, or a sugary drink. I am actually very guilty of that. BUT when I really want to be good I stick to water. It is free, calorie-free, and drinking a good amount of water is a good way to lose weight. As a bonus, you can add a lemon to it, which will give you an additional weight loss factor. Plus you would not realize how many calories sugary drinks can add 200-300 calories which is the same as a small snack.
You can use those calories elsewhere instead of drinking them up. If you must have something then you can get soda water or even diet soda. It does have sodium and is not the best option but it is still zero calories and better than having tons of sugar or high-calorie drinks.
How To Choose The Healthiest Eat Out Options & Still Lose Weight ~ Skip the Dessert
I know it is tempting to want to get something sweet at the end of your meal. But do not do that. And if you must then get something really small or even a serving size of the fruit. When you resist the urge to have a sugary high-calorie dessert and you will be thankful that you did. Even when I have felt tempted if I did not order a dessert and I walked out, I always felt good about myself. If you must have something, then go for a small dessert, 100% vanilla ice cream (which my weight loss doctor approved me to have and I still lost weight), or a sugar-free dessert. But really try to avoid desserts altogether. Check out my video below for my weight loss story and also don’t forget to subscribe to my channel.
How To Choose The Healthiest Eat Out Options & Still Lose Weight ~ Avoid All You Can Eat Places
You can pretty much adapt these tips no matter where you go. BUT one thing you should avoid if you want to eat healthy while eating out is all you can eat buffets. When you go to Golden Corral or places that have an all-you-can-eat buffet that is exactly what you going to do. Eat, eat, and eat even more. Most people when they spend money on a buffet they go back for more than one plate which leads them to overeat, so it is best to just stay away from these places.
If you must go another option to choose is to just opt for the salad bar and just fill up on salad instead. I have often gone to all-you-can-eat buffets such as Ruby Tuesdays and getting their endless salad bar, in which you can fill up on salad. Or I have gone to the Chinese Buffet and still lost weight. I focused on items such as fish (not fried), green beans, broccoli, cabbage, and steamed chicken. No rice or noodles. It can be done. But if you do not have a lot of willpower, I would say avoid it together.
I hope that these tips have taught you how to choose the healthiest eat-out options and they are tried and tested because I have used them myself.
If you know someone who still wants to eat out but has trouble maintaining their diet then go ahead and share this post with them.
Plus I have something for you. It is my ebook where I talk about the art of spiritual fasting and the guide is only 99 cents. Click here or the picture below to read more about the guide or to buy it.
These are really nice practical ideas, for me I like just trying to be mindful of things and usually I never order any drinks etc so that helps too.
Julia // The Sunday Mode