Delicious food, great company, no washing up… sounds like a good time to us! But - why is there always a but! - eating out can be confusing when it comes to nutrition. How do we make nutrition-positive decisions when everything looks so damn tasty on the menu?
First things first, you don’t need to sacrifice your whole social life to achieve a goal. Social fitness is just as important as mental, physical and nutritional wellbeing. Yes, moderation is key (we’ll talk about this below) but it’s still possible to have a social life without derailing a diet.
And at the end of the day, PLEASE remember that you do NOT need to follow any of these tips - you can go out and let your hair down and the gym and your progress will still be there tomorrow. Enjoy yourself and don’t sweat it!
Healthy eating is all about balance, and it’s okay to indulge now and then; just be mindful, aware and practise moderation.
For the meals that you don’t want to break the nutrition bank, here are some handy tips and tricks for dining out 👇
You wouldn't workout without the SHREDDY app right...that’s some good planning there if we do say so ourselves 😏. Have a look at the menu before you arrive and choose some suitable options (obviously, still do the obligatory ‘oh I just don’t know what to have, it all looks so good!’). Choosing ahead of time can help ensure healthy and informed decisions.
We’ve all heard ‘don’t go food shopping when you’re hungry’. Same with restaurants. It may be tempting to undereat in the lead up to a big meal, but this could result in poor, hunger-driven choices when you arrive. Protein in particular promotes satiety (fullness), so why not have a protein-based lunch before heading out?
BE A DETECTIVE
Read the menu… 🕵️♀️. You can learn a lot from looking at the words used to describe the meals. Go for poached, steamed, baked, seared and broiled and be aware of fried, crispy, battered, rich and creamy.
Dressings… it’s a love-hate relationship right? We love them, but they tend to be pretty high in calories. Be fussy and ask for dressings or sauces on the side; that way you have control over the serving size.
SHARING IS CARING
Breadbasket - we meet again. Maybe it’s a bread basket, maybe it's a mezze starter. Share the love and share the food to avoid overeating before your main course. Using a small plate can also help portion control and encourage mindfulness when eating. After all, we’ve still got our main course to enjoy…!
IGNORE YOUR MUM (SORRY MUM, LOVE YOU 💕)
⚠️ Controversial content ⚠️ It’s not rude to have leftovers. Restaurant portions tend to be far larger than what we would usually serve ourselves at home. So listen to your body and pay attention when it signals fullness.
IF YOU DON'T ASK, YOU DON'T GET
Okay, there is a limit to this, asking for ‘chips without the potato and salt’ is not cute. However, you can ask questions! Restaurants are becoming more and more flexible by offering substitutions and ‘lighter’ options. Be polite, be your best self and ask a few questions.
LIVE YOUR LIFE
Some occasions are going to be more important than others and you won’t want to compromise - choose, invest and plan your events. Let’s look at an example: you have one brunch with the gals, and 2 restaurant reservations during the week. Pick one to completely indulge in and let your hair down.
For the other occasions, use these tips and tricks to ensure you’re staying on track with your nutrition.