5 Rules When Eating Out to Stay Healthy

Anonymous Question:

2 or 3 times a week, I am invited to get a bite to eat with my friends. As a mid-20 something, my entire social life revolves around food and booze. Unfortunately, my wallet size is shrinking and my waistline is growing. What are some quick tips to save money and calories while continuing to be social with my friends?
- Mpowher Athlete Member

 

Tufts University conducted a study surveying both local restaurants and large chains, in 3 cities around the US. They found that 92% of the meals they measured largely exceeded the recommended calories for a single meal. There were even some single meals that exceeded the entire daily recommended calories. So staying fit while continuing to be social and eat out is very hard. Here are some ways to avoid over consuming when going out with friends, because let's be honest, you don't want to stop being social. (Comment below if the above statistic surprised you.)
 

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1. Smaller portions:

The above statistic is staggering, and a giant wake up call! Just because you ordered an entire plate, doesn’t mean you need to eat the whole thing. Asking for a box upfront or cutting your meal in half can keep your portion size smaller and control how much you are eating.

2. Splitting an entree:

Sharing a meal with friends can be a bonus, because you consume half the calories and it’s half the price. This is a great trick to keep the costs low on a raging social life. Hopefully your friends enjoy the same food as you.

3. Don’t always order a drink:

Many people order a drink every time they get food, break that habit. Typically people only order 1, maybe 2 drinks with their food for the evening. Most are not looking to get drunk, so why do we do this? In four words, social pressure and habit. Read some quick tips to limit unnecessary calories while drinking. 

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4. Eat slower:

Most of us use food as an excuse to be social and talk. Use this to your advantage and slow down while your eating. Perhaps put the fork down a few times, sit back, and take in the conversation. Use water to your advantage... its free, healthy, and it can fill your stomach. Next time try drinking a glass before you begin your meal.

5. Be mindful of what you are eating:

Just because you're eating out doesn’t mean you should order whatever your heart desires. If you have nutrition goals in mind try to stick to them as much as possible. This could mean ordering more veggies with your meal, or subbing a salad for fries. (FYI most vegetables are fried or sauteed in butter, ask your server). Try to stay close to your usual habits. This will help you to continually make the lifestyle changes that you are looking to achieve.

 

Go out, be social, and remain mindful. You’ll have an even better time because you know you're saving money and not completely detracting from your health and fitness goals! By all means indulge a little and have that world famous eggs bene and bottomless mimosas... just make sure it doesn’t turn into a routine brunch thing. #brunchlife

Share with us some of your tips and tricks for eating out and remaining social.  

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