How to Eat Out and Stay Healthy

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Fast food is one of those things that are so addicting yet so bad for you. That’s pretty much how it goes with everything that tastes good right? If you are trying to be healthy, it can be difficult trying to figure out where to eat when all of your friends want to go to restaurants all the time. So, short of bringing your own food, what can you do to stay healthy and still be able to eat out?

Suggest the restaurants first
When a bunch of friends get together and are thinking about going out to eat or if you should all chip in for food delivery, if you are the first to suggest restaurants, your likely to get picked. Know a few options of restaurants so that when the conversation comes up, you’ll know which places you can eat at. Of course, you’ll want to keep in mind that everyone else might have dietary restrictions or might not have the taste for food that you do. For example, if you are a vegan, there’s bound to be someone in the group that eats dairy or meat. So, when suggesting restaurants, try and be balanced and pick places that will cater to both of you.

Call ahead to ask them for what you need
There was a guy, let’s call him Joe, that was on a very strict diet. Not only could he only eat lean proteins like chicken, but they couldn’t be any part of the chicken. He couldn’t eat chicken wings or legs, it had to be chicken breast. And that chicken breast had to have the fat trimmed off, be skinned and could not be cooked in oil nor salted. So he would call ahead. We would be on our way to a restaurant and he would call and saying something along the lines of, “I want to go to your restaurant with some friends but I was wondering if you might be able to cater to my dietary needs. They are blah blah blah.” Most restaurants will oblige. It’s not ideal, but it’s an option.

Check out the menu
When the place has been decided, go on your smart phone, get online and find their website. They will usually have an up to date menu on there that you can check out their food options. This way, once you get to the restaurant you will know which foods you can choose from and any questions that you need to ask. While your friends may be used to your questions, the waiter is not so try and give him or her a forewarning before you launch into your list. Usually, even fast food restaurants will have chicken wings or some sort of grilled chicken that you can eat.

Just say no
Sometimes you just have to decline an invitation to eat out. If they are going somewhere where you literally can’t eat any of the food on the menu or if you’ve been out to much and have made too many compromises in your eating, just tell them no. It can be a headache trying to figure out how to eat out and sometimes you just need a break. Go home to a fridge and pantry full of options with no limitations because you have stocked it yourself. It’ll make your life a lot easier. Your friends may give you a hard time about putting food before them but it’s bigger than that. You are putting your health and body first which is important. Maybe they will learn from your example.

Save your cheat days
No one should go without having tiny cheats throughout the week. If you are the type of person that has an entire cheat day, then you can save these days for when you are going to be with other people over the course of the day. Or, if you are the kind of person that cheats with a meal of barbecue chicken wings and then moves on, save that meal for when you are going to be out to dinner with friends. This way you’ll get to enjoy the company of your friends and chow down on those chicken wings at the same time.

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