Staying Healthy While Dining Out & Sticking to Your Resolution

Wednesday, February 2 2022 11:43 AM
By Ellen Healy

Eating Out

Most people would agree that with winter comes dining out and overeating. Why? Here are five reasons why we overeat during colder months. To name a few reasons, we're cold, less active, and unmotivated. (If you're having trouble with a lack of motivation, click here for ways to get motivation back.)

Along with these reasons to overeat and dine out, there are also more game days, holidays, and family gatherings during winter, enough to throw anyone off the fitness track. When we're not at someone's house, it's safe to say we're not motivated to cook, and we do what's most convenient instead - we go out to eat because it's quick and easy. But with eating out comes complete blind trust in our menu descriptions. And who can really say how much butter, oil, or other delicious fats the chef has served?

So, how do you stick to your health resolutions while eating out with friends and family? Here are a few simple rules to save you from the hundreds of unnecessary calories you could consume if not careful.

7 Tips to Stick to Resolutions & Stay Healthy While Eating Out

1. Avoid starches and fried foods.

Here's a no-brainer! Just skip the fried sides and sub for a side salad, fresh fruit, veggies, or broth-based soups. Your scale and conscience will thank you later for making such worthy sacrifices.

2. Resist the free bread and chips.

We've all been there. Your food is taking a bit, but alas! The free bread or bottomless chips are coming to save your stomach from hangry pains. If you know that freebies are offered, or you can see them coming your way, simply tell your waiter to save them for the next table. Out of sight, out of mind.

3. Skip the ever-tempting appetizers.

As good as creamy artichoke dip, buffalo wings, or buttery bruschetta all sound, these pre-meal favorites are loaded with hundreds of calories that could break your fit-life wants and dreams. Much like the free carbs in Tip #2, these before-entrée snacks are truly unnecessary if you plan to eat a full meal at the restaurant you're at. You can do it! Just be patient! The real deal, the main event, your actual entree will be worth the wait.

Sounds good for apps, but what about dessert? Learn about sugar swaps and healthy alternatives here.

4. Portion control.

Quite often, the size of any entree at any restaurant is much more than the average meal you'd make at home. So, look at your plate and ask yourself, "Am I really this hungry? Or could I take some home and make the yummy goodness survive another day?" Once your meal comes, ask your waiter for a box to go, put some or half of your meal inside it, and don't look back. Don't worry; you'll enjoy the rest later without any guilt.

5. Slow down!

Seriously, where's the fire? Slow down and chew slow!
If you're a speed eater, don't be embarrassed. We're all guilty of inhaling food sometimes, especially when it's hot, fresh, and delicious. But 10-15 minutes later, do you find yourself clenching your stomach and miserable? Asking how in the world you became so full? We have, too! So let's all skip the tummy aches and slow down. Let's enjoy the food and enjoy the flavors, listening to our bodies and "I'm full" signals.

6. Order the sauce and dressings on the side.

This is a tough one to adhere to, but such an easy choice to make when you really think about it. You're not depriving yourself of the sauce and dressings that your meals are served with. You're just controlling the way they're served. Oftentimes, meals are doused in too much sauce or too much dressing, and it's a silent killer. So, request your sauce or dressing on the side and use it just to taste.

7. Plan ahead of time.

If you're out with friends and family, you may order something super unhealthy, because why not? You're there to enjoy yourself! It's a special occasion! It's just this once... Now, that's all fine and dandy if it were true every time, but be warned that it's the countless one-timers with this mentality that lead to weight gain or other lost goals. So, here's what you do: you plan and ignore unhealthy justifications. Choose the restaurant before going out, and check out the menu ahead of time. Stick to your plan and make yourself proud. Stop allowing yourself the "just one time," really all-the-time meals! Save the chicken parm and pasta, the ooey-gooey queso and crispy chips, the buttered rice and garlic naan for truly special occasions or worthy cheat days to come.

Learn the skinny on cheat meals and how to use them here.


If you hold fast to these seven tips, there's no stopping you in the new year ahead. 

Need help with drink orders? Want to know what NOT to order for beer and cocktails? Read the following Genesis blog! Other blogs on sticking to New Year's resolutions are below.

Best Low-Cal Mixed Drinks for Weight Loss & Health
5 Ways to Make your Diet & Fitness Resolutions Stick
Solutions for New Year's Resolutions

 Stay Strong, Fit Fam!

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