Today was one of those days that I had no time to plan my meals and had to have 2 meals at a restaurant. Luckily, because of the knowledge I’ve learned from my coach so far, I am now pretty well equipped to handle it.
So here’s my 3 steps to Eating Healthy at Restaurants:
Step 1: Pay close attention to the menu, not the pictures!
When you look at a menu, we are often dazzled by how the food is presented and how beautifully delicious it looks and tend to sway towards choosing the most “good looking” dish. Unfortunately, that is not the healthiest way to eat, but you knew that!! So here’s what I do instead:
When I look at a menu, I scan for any vegetarian options. I look at the salad menu which usually tends to be the healthier options, I also look at the entree’s to see if they have anything special for vegetarians. I often as the server if I can substitute the meat for tofu,. cottage cheese or more veggies. I check out the ingredients that are listed and make sure I don’t see anything too high on the Glycemic Index.
The Glycemic Index (GI) measures how blood sugar levels are affected by different carbohydrate sources that we eat. It is measured using a scale that goes from 0-100, with 100 being the highest.
I like looking for foods that have a low impact on blood sugars 55 and below because these will have a minimal impact on your blood sugar levels.
Step 2: Watch your Portions and dressings
At times we eat just because our mouth is bored but our tummy is so full. So there’s two ways you can avoid that. One way is to ask to get half of your meal packed to go or split your meal with someone else. You’ll not only feel better about your meal, but also save money!
Another trap is QUINOA. I know what you must be thinking…”isn’t that healthy?” Well yes and no. Yes quinoa can be healthy because its very high in protein, but it isn’t healthy when your trying to burn fat and in that case its very heavy in carbohydrates. Just think, 100g of quinoa packs about 13% fat, 75% carbs, 12% protein. I can’t even have more than 110 grams of carbohydrates in a day and That’s already 70 grams of my daily intake. If you want to build a toned and defined physique I would highly suggest avoiding this food as much as possible and save it for a cheat meal.
Also, always, always always ask to have your dressing on the side. You never want to be consuming the total amount of dressing your given in any given salad or bowl. It’s latent with excess carbs, sugar and sodium that your body just doesn’t need.
Obviously, we don’t want to sacrifice flavor so opt for low fat, low sugary dressings when possible and remember to only lightly coat your food. You’ll feel much better and you’ll be surprised how much you can actually taste your food.
Eventually your taste buds will adapt to your habits and you’ll be happier eating less, and tasting more!
Step 3: Say NO to dessert! Or, if your really absolutely can’t stop yourself…
So to achieve any health goal your going to have to make some sacrifices, one of them is going to be to skip on the high sugary desserts. Luckily I know of a healthy delicious alternative to your sugar cravings.
My secret weapon is….wait for it…. QUEST BARS! Oh yea these bars are jam packed with protein, fiber, and low on sugar and low carbs. If you have a sweet tooth like me, it will save you!
So there you have it, my 3 steps to eating healthier when you find yourself in a sticky situation.
Bodies By Design Personal Trainer