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How To | Stay Healthy When Eating Out

How To | Stay Healthy When Eating Out

How To | Stay Healthy When Eating Out

Do you go out to dinner with intentions of eating healthily but mess up somewhere along the way? We have the top tips to ensure you can enjoy a healthy restaurant meal with without having to change too much.

Scout the menu:

Look up the menu online before booking or going to a restaurant. You can make a decision on what options are healthiest before you go and feel comfortable with your choices instead of making rushed on the spot decisions.

Have a healthy snack before you go:

Never go to a restaurant hungry. Have a small snack 1 hour before you are due to go out to dinner e.g. muesli bar, piece of fruit or small salad. If you go to a restaurant hungry you’ll over order and overindulge, leaving you feeling very full and bloated. Eating a small snack before dinner will ensure that you make healthier and wiser food choices and eat less while out.

Make a swap:

If you like a meal but it comes with something that you deem ‘unhealthy’ or something you may be tempted to eat, make a swap. Ask if you can swap chips for a salad / steamed vegetables, fried chicken or fish for grilled and sauces/dressing on the side.  

Eat slowly:

Make a conscious effort to take your time when eating. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register that you are full, so put down your fork in between each mouthful. This will ensure you aren’t overeating and having to slyly undo that top button on your jeans – Eating slower guarantees you’ll be left feeling sated and satisfied.  

Eat dessert at home:

Desserts at restaurants are generally decadent and eating your dessert at home ensures you are completely aware of what you are eating.  Enjoy a couple of pieces of dark chocolate, a bowl of fruit and yoghurt, or a scoop of Greek yoghurt based ice cream. If you want to treat yourself and have dessert at a restaurant, share with your partner / friend so you can halve the calories!

Avoid bread:

Avoid eating any extra bread that is on the table. Not only do the calories add up, but bread will fill you up quickly and spoil your main meal.

Image Source: Instagram/realfoodhealthybody

Choose wisely:

You may be scared to eat out at different cuisines because they may seem scarce in healthy options – but that’s not the case. There are always ways to choose or tweak a dish so that you can eat a balanced meal.

Mexican:  

  • Mexican salad
  • Corn tortillas instead of wheat tortillas
  • Grilled chicken, fish or prawns instead of fried

Italian:  

  • Order an entree sized pasta as your main meal with a side salad or vegetables
  • Pick from the Secondi menu (has meat and fish options)

Japanese:

  • Sashimi
  • Poke bowl
  • Order brown / black rice instead of white

Chinese:

  • Steamed or grilled fish / meat dishes
  • Steamed greens

Thai:

  • Steamed or grilled fish / meat dishes
  • Steamed greens
  • Go light on curry’s
  • Always order brown rice as a side instead of white rice

Tapas:  

  • Pick light dishes – stay away from deep fried arancini balls and potatoes
  • Olives, cured meats
  • Grilled veg and seafood / meat

Indian:

  • Avoid roti
  • Ditch the butter chicken and go for tandoori or dhal instead

Make your own rules:

Everyone has different health goals, so eat out in a way that suits you the most. If you eat lightly during the week, then you can enjoy restaurant meals over the weekend without having to change too much. For those who eat out more often choose the lighter options.

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