The number is staggering but the average American dines outside of their home 4 to 5 times a week. To put another way, Americans eat 20% of their meals per week away from home.
This statistic tells us is that dining out is widely popular and whether it’s due to convenience or due to travel, dining at restaurants is a way of American life.
Because of this, the tendency for many is to blame their busy schedule and the lack of options when dining out to keep them from eating healthy.
The myth is that eating at home is the only way one can achieve an ounce of nutrition. However, I bet if you look at a person’s pantry inside their home, they’re not being healthy there either.
But what if you are really trying to be healthy? How do you even go about doing this away from home?
Knowing that all restaurants aren’t created equal, the healthy choices won’t always be there. Some restaurants don’t care what you put in your body and won’t bother to hand out any healthy option.
To help you on your next time out on the town, below are 7 strategies to keep you laser focused and eating right.
- Get It To-Go
You’re dining in, not out, here me? That doesn’t mean you have to eat it all while you’re there.Unless you were able to order a lunch portion, you shouldn’t be indulging yourself in the whole plate.Most restaurants serve you more than enough to leave satisfied and we tend to eat everything on our plate if it’s there.Not our fault, that’s how our momma raised us.Heck, we’re pleasing momma and cleaning our plate!But you can still clean your plate and not eat all in sight either.When your food arrives, immediately ask your waiter for a to-go box and put half of your meal away to the side.Out of sight, out of mind. Now you got two meals for the price of one!
- Know Your Role
If you know where you’re going ahead of time, you have an advantage. Most menus these days you can now pull up online.Use the online menu and decide ahead of time what you’re going to eat.A couple benefits to doing this is you won’t make a decision on what you eat based on your hunger level or what smells good.You keep yourself in check and you’ll be able to spend time enjoying your company instead of worrying with what to eat.
- Snack Like A Champ
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when going to a restaurant is going in hungry. This is why snacking is so important.If you’re one who only eats two or three meals a day, you’re sabotaging yourself. You’re setting yourself up for failure because when it’s time to eat, It’s Time To Eat!By snacking a bit before you arrive, you’ve gotten rid of any hunger pains and you can take your mind off eating while you wait for your food to arrive.
- Stay Away From The Freebies
Breadsticks, rolls, chips, peanuts and the like are freely distributed to you when dining.It is so important to stay away from this temptation or you sabotage your nutrition goal from the very beginning.Besides, when is the last time you indulged in those freebies that you walked away saying, “Wow, I’m glad I ate that!”If you followed the previous strategy and snacked before you arrived, staying away from the freebies shouldn’t be much of a challenge anyway. You should be satisfied until your meal arrives.
- Pack A Purse
If you’re not big into snacking before you get to the restaurant, another way to approach this tactic is taking your snacks with you.For instance, say you’re going to a Mexican restaurant one night and you know that you’ll be hit up with chips and salsa when you arrive.Instead of not eating anything at all as you watch everyone else pig out, pack some veggies like cucumber, carrot and celery sticks to carry with you.Heck, bake up some crispy pita bread and replace the basket of chips with it. It’s a much healthier option.
- Drink Water
A useful tip that you can use at home or while you’re out is to drink a glass of water before you eat.This will make you feel more full and keep you from filling up on the unnecessary.But Joe, won’t I just be hungry later if I do that? Maybe, but by that time you will be out of the restaurant and won’t be tempted by garbage calories.
- Keep It On The Side
Salads are great, guys. What’s not so great is the flood of salad dressing poured over your mountain of a salad. Always, always, have your sides on the side. Whether it’s salad dressing, butter, sour cream, you name it. Be better to yourself and be the judge of what you put in your body.If you are really concerned about the calories and macros in your salad dressing, you can still have a tasty salad while using salad dressing by dipping your fork into the dressing and then fork a bite of salad.This way you don’t over do each bite of salad you take.
- Be A Saver
If you know you’re going to be eating somewhere unhealthy with no good options to choose from, prepare yourself.Yes this will be garbage calories but don’t let it ruin your entire day. Prepare yourself by eating less throughout the day and really manage those calories and macros to keep you in check.Get a good workout in and don’t let one unhealthy meal do you in. You are better than that. Your body will thank you later.
I hope these above tips will help you the next time you’re out and I hope these tips will help you make better decisions.
Are the strategies above simple? Yes.
Are the strategies easy? No.
You have to be the one to take action. If you get lazy and think the above is to much work, you’re not going to be wearing the body you deserve.
Putting on muscle and getting shredded is tough work. The obesity rate is sky high and there’s a reason for that.
Temptation to eat like crap is all around. Don’t be a victim.
Work your nutrition. Know what you need to do to get where you want to be. Get it done. Until next time, Stay Jacked, Stay Strong…