How to Eat Out While Staying on Track

Nichole Wood

What’s the point of working hard all the time if you can’t go out and show off how hard you’ve been working?

I strive to live a balanced life in all areas, which means I have learned how to go out and be social without feeling like I have completely thrown off my progress. This is not something I have always been able to say!

Here are a few of my tips and tricks for drinking/eating out:
Check the menu beforehand!

This is a great way to avoid getting caught up in the moment and making an emotional eating decision. Try to choose something with a lot of protein (chicken breast, steak, salmon, etc.) and you can even ask for double veggies instead of a carb if you would like.

Choose either an appetizer or dessert.

You don’t need both! Appetizers and deserts are typically very carb heavy and are not filled with many nutrients, so if you must, just order one. If you are splitting with a friend, eat slowly so you don’t end up eating more than half.

Take half to go.

This is hands down the reason I started losing weight when I first started working out. I started telling myself before I even got the meal that I was only going to eat half. I paced myself, ate slow, and took the other half home. Not only did I always have lunch for the next day but I realized that I didn’t need the whole meal. I feel completely satisfied only eating half.

Ask for butter, dressing, sauces on the side.

These are where the majority of calories hide in popular restaurant meals. As delicious and complimenting as they are to the meal the amount chefs put on is usually, simply unnecessary. Get it on the side next time and only put on what you need.

Pick a lower calorie drink choice.

Mixed drinks, sodas, and fruit juices can have upwards of 300 calories per drink! Don’t even get me started on the amount of sugar in them. Making smarter drinking choices can have huge effects on your daily caloric intake.

What are the best hard drink choices, you ask?

Spiked Seltzers.

These are amazing when you want something refreshing but not heavy. Gluten free, sugar free, and a whopping 100 calories per can; you can’t go wrong!

If you’re into more of the hard stuff…

Tequila is made from blue agave (unfortunately the cheap stuff doesn’t usually qualify here) which makes it gluten free and is known to lower blood pressure and cholesterol! Have you ever been stressed out with a margarita in your hand? Didn’t think so. It is generally an alcohol low in sugar as well which means less hangover the next morning! Make sure you are staying away from crazy flavors and mixes as those are normally the sugar culprits. Skinny margaritas are just as refreshing with less than half the calories!

Beer and Wine?

The way beer contributes to belly fat is that it is loaded with gluten (thus, carbohydrates) as well as calories. If you are going to choose beer, try sticking with light beer and, consume in moderation. Spiked seltzers might be a good alternative here as well. When it comes to wine, the exact number of calories per glass will vary by type. Typically, the sweeter the wine, the more calories. Dry and sparkling wines tend to have the least calories and are therefore the best option if you are a wine drinker and you are watching your caloric intake.

What about ciders?

Ciders are gluten free which means low carbs, which is a win. However, most ciders are loaded with sugars. Make sure to double check sugar content before going all in. My tried and true favorites are Ace, Harpoon, and Woodchuck.

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