Afraid a meal out will ruin your weight loss efforts before you even get past your starter? We can help! We want you to eat out and lose weight, too, so we've compiled this list of tips to help you navigate the menu options at your favourite restaurants.
Read our tips below, then go out and enjoy yourself!
Don't arrive hungry
It's that simple – if you turn up starving you're more likely to over indulge. Make sure you eat sensibly throughout the day so that if you're eating out, be it lunch or dinner, you're less likely to eat more than you planned.
Do your research
Just a tiny bit of research will go a long way when you're losing weight but still want to eat out. Most restaurants have their menus online, so you can decide what you're going to eat before you get there. This way you're more likely to stick by your original choice rather than being swayed by the people you're eating with.
Salads can seem like the safe option – but it's not always the case.
Toppings like croutons, bacon, cheese and creamy dressings tend to be high in ProPoints values.
Simple, leafy salads topped with grilled chicken or fish are a good choice. Vinaigrettes are a better option than creamy dressings. Ask for the dressing on the side – so you can use as little (or as much) of it as you choose.
Make special requests
You're paying good money for that meal, so don't be afraid to make special requests. Why not say:
- "Could I have that without butter? Grilled? With the sauce on the side?"
- "I'd like a salad instead of chips with my burger, please."
Opt for filling and healthy foods
Opting for lean meats, fresh fish and lots of vegetables is a good way of ensuring you're choosing the healthier options on the menu.
Resign from the 'clean plate club'
You paid for it so you have to eat it, right? Wrong. There's nothing that will ruin your meal out more than the guilt of knowing you ate way too much and leaving with that over-stuffed feeling.
- Eating half of larger meals, sharing or leaving the rest.
- Pushing your plate away when you're full. And remember to take your time and really enjoy your food - that way you won't finish before everyone else.
A BIT on the SIDE
If you really want chips, have them and enjoy them. But portion sizes are often huge – so sharing is always a good decision.
- Restaurants don't skimp on butter or cream. In some restaurants, mashed potato is half potato and half butter – plus a bit of extra cream. A little goes a very long way!
- If you're not sure what's in a dish – just ask. And if you'd like your vegetables without butter, say so. You're paying so you get to decide how you want it.
- If you're trying to be extra healthy then side salads (with the dressing on the side) and vegetables (ask for them 'without butter') are good choices to go with your main.