Top Tips To Staying On Track When Eating Out

Some amazing food from my favourite local cafe in Kinsale ‘OHK’. It’s a really trendy cafe with an amazing selection of dishes. This is the Shakshuka, which was literally to die for.

Eating out is one of my favourite things to do, but this wasn’t always the case. I used to avoid social events or make excuses to friends as to why I couldn’t meet them for lunch or coffee, for fear I would go “off plan” or over-eat. Looking back on it now, I realise how ridiculous it was. It’s not possible to do that long-term, so I was only making myself miserable and becoming a social recluse.

Unfortunately, we’ve been led to believe that eating out can hinder results or cause weight gain. Of course, it’s possible to gain weight and sabotage your progress, if you don’t think about your diet as a whole, but by honing in on one meal and scaremongering to the point that people are afraid to eat out, we’re only adding to poor eating behaviours. I get a great deal of satisfaction from eating out. I enjoy the experience of eating different foods, soaking up the atmosphere and having a conversation with friends or family that I haven’t seen in a while.

Rather than avoiding meals out, why not look at ways to improve your eating habits in the lead up to that meal out, or look to making better choices. With this is mind, I’ve listed my top tips when eating out, without compromising your progress.

1. Account for the meal out and reduce your food intake in the lead up to it

2. Drink plenty of water throughout to optimize digestion

3. Ask for sauce on the side

4. Ask for an extra portion of vegetables on the side and eat them first. Vegetables are high in fibre which will increase volume and help you to feel fuller for longer.

5. Choose a lean protein source such as chicken, fish or turkey.

6. Eat slowly and stop eating when you’re full.

7. Look up the menu online before eating out and choose the healthiest option.

8. Don’t go out starving. This will increase your risk of over-eating.

If you can focus on implement these 8 simple tips, you can easily enjoy the occasional meal out, without ruining your progress.

Shonagh 🙂 x

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