Clinical nutritionist outlines top ten tips for eating out while sticking to your diet

It can be the biggest challenge for many of us to navigate by eating out and staying on target with a healthy weight.

With lockdowns that belong to the past, it means making friends, going back to the office, seeing customers, seeing family, dating or date nights and with the Christmas party just around the corner, eating out will dominate the social calendar for many.

Even the toughest of us will find this an enduring struggle. Is there a way you can get it all? Eating out and still reaching your health goal?

With many years of clinical experience maintaining the target weight for many of my patients, I have devised proven guidelines to follow this work, which means you can still have fun and reach your goal.

Here are my top 10 tips for eating out and staying on top of your health goals.

Weekend Sunrise Clinical Nutritionist Sarah Di Lorenzo has outlined her top ten tips for enjoying a night on the town while sticking to your eating plan.
Weekend Sunrise Clinical Nutritionist Sarah Di Lorenzo has outlined her top ten tips for enjoying a night on the town while sticking to your eating plan. Credit: Getty Images

1. Always Google menu first, before going to a restaurant, this way you can look well through and make your choice to suit your current eating program.

2. Never go into a restaurant hungry. Take a small portion of protein 1/2 hour before you go to take the sting out of hunger, such as a boiled egg or a small handful of nuts.

Drink 2 glasses of water just before your meal. You want to eat less, appreciate the food more and avoid feeling hungry.

4. The buffet has an association of eating as much as you can, I call it the buffet mentality. When faced with a buffet, practice mindfulness.

Get a scope of the buffet, look at what is the best choice for your health goal. Grab the plate and make sure you only take one turn. Remember, it’s just food, and you’ve probably seen it all before.

Drinking two glasses of water before eating can help prevent over-indulgence.  File image.
Drinking two glasses of water before eating can help prevent over-indulgence. File image. Credit: Getty Images

5. To stick to a diet on one restaurant or cafe.

So you’re still on your weight loss journey, where you really only eat protein and salad / vegetables, but you really want to catch up with friends or take a client for lunch.

So how do you navigate this successfully?

If you are at a cafe, it is always possible to order the protein that usually comes with large salads on the menu, such as chicken breast, smoked salmon or halloumi.

Ask the waiter if you can add it to the garden salad on the side dish, not only do you stick to your program, but you also save money.

When you are at a restaurant, you order either two main courses or only main courses. If the primary comes with a carbohydrate, ask the waiter to put it on an accessory that your other guests can enjoy.

The primary purpose of a meal out should be to catch up with friends or family.
The primary purpose of a meal out should be to catch up with friends or family. Credit: Getty Images

6. Do not hold back tells the restaurant that you have dietary needs. To save trouble you can contact the restaurant in advance.

In my experience, they will be happy to accommodate you.

7. Choose restaurants where you can decipher the ingredients.

This way, you generally know what you are eating. Kitchens with heavy creams and sauces generally mean lots of unwanted calories.

8. When you go to your friend’s house to eat, there are two options here.

Call the host in advance and let them know you’re on a program, or you can also offer to bring a dish that fits your dietary advice.

Always feel comfortable talking to restaurant staff about your dietary needs.
Always feel comfortable talking to restaurant staff about your dietary needs. Credit: Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

9. If you have spoiled yourself, which happens to the best of us, usually two alcoholic drinks for a restaurant meal, do not be disappointed with yourself, this is life and the food should be enjoyed and celebrated without guilt.

Just make sure you go light the next day to balance it.

10. Remember your primary goal when eating out is in most cases to catch up with colleagues, family, dating or friendships. The food is a complement to the event.

With these best tips on eating out and getting it all, you should now feel confident enjoying your social life without guilt and reaching your health goals as they should be.

Sarah Di Lorenzo’s new book 10:10 diet is now available for pre-order.

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