The UK average for eating out is 1.5 times a week. That’s 78 opportunities a year to eat more than double the food you’d eat at home (starter, pudding, drinks). Alarmingly it can add up to a weight gain of a stone and a half each year if you don’t offset it somehow.
So let’s talk about eating out and staying healthy…
Are you thinking “Yeah well I don’t eat out that much!” Maybe so, but do you have takeaways? A recent YouGov survey revealed that Brits eat over 22 million takeaways each week. Suffice to say, we’re eating food that we don’t cook ourselves A LOT!
However much fitnaturally wants everybody eating home-cooked food, it seems eating out and getting takeaways is the cultural norm now. So how do you navigate that without overeating and getting increasingly larger clothes?
First, if you rarely eat out, just on special occasions, I’m not going to suggest you order two salad starters and drink only water. We should all let our hair down sometimes and not worry about it, and that’s fine and frankly wonderful.
But if you eat out a lot, weekly or more, and you want to stay at a healthy weight here are some handy tactics.
- Do an hour of heart-pumping exercise that day, build an appetite, make some room.
- Cut down a bit on food earlier in the day. Try having brunch late morning, some fruit late afternoon, then the meal out.
- If it’s a lunch out, or business lunch just have a snack in the evening, like omelette or smoked salmon and scrambled eggs.
- Drink water before you go out, to fill yourself up a bit so you don’t hit the menu feeling HANGRY.
- Be bold; if you don’t want a starter or pudding don’t have one. People will put pressure on you because *they* want them and they feel better about themselves if you join them. Stay resolute and polite, you’re their buddy not their conscience-stroker. Change the subject or just join in by helping them choose.
- Just because you’re paying for it doesn’t mean you have to eat every single thing if you’re full. Stop eating while you’re still comfortable and before you bust embarrassingly out of your trousers.
- If you are having three courses choose two that are small and low carb, like soup with no bread, or panna cotta for pudding, or a main course of steak and vegetables.
- Going for pizza? Have the side salad as your starter.
- Sip alcohol slowly; enjoy the conversation and make a couple of drinks last, have sparkling water between alcoholic drinks.
- If it’s a takeaway then share it, or if on your own save some for the next day (not rice though unless you want food poisoning). Takeaway food comes in ginourmous portion sizes. You could order a child’s portion of fish and chips for instance and still be full as a boot.
- Next morning go for a walk or do some other exercise, and have a light breakfast.
Et voila! Eating out staying healthy is totally possible! This should be enough to make you an inspiration to all other diners. Not to mention helping you to stay slim and healthy.
Get more tips and gorgeous ‘eating in’ meal plans with eatnaturally for everyone.