I don’t know about you, but when it comes to cooking in the summer, I have a love-hate relationship with it. I LOVE cooking, baking, meal prepping… but I HATE being in a hot kitchen on a warm, sunny summer day.
I find myself eating out more during the summer. I want to be on a patio, enjoying this weather! Eating out has also become such a huge part of socializing, it’s hard to avoid it. So when you decide to go out, don’t fret!! I have some tips for you on the best way to stick to your lifestyle if it’s not your cheat day 🙂
Now, I want to say this first. I try to base any cheat meals on what my week is looking like. I always indulge on Saturday’s, but if something REALLY special comes up during the week, I might skip the bun for my burger, but still eat the fries. I love eating healthy, but I think balance is absolutely key to success. So, when your best friend calls you and invites you to dinner on a Wednesday, I’ve got your back!
My first tip for going out: if you are offered to pick the place, pick it!! This way you can go somewhere that you know has healthier options available to order. If someone calls you with a craving for something, odds are, you’re not picking the place. When you get the chance, make that decision for you and everyone else.
Number two, ALWAYS look at the menu before you go! Now if you’re picking the place, you are probably aware of what you can eat there. But if this is somewhere new, or somewhere you only like to go on the weekends to indulge, check the restaurant website. Figure out what you can substitute for the meals you want, and make your final decision on dinner before you even get in your car to go. Which leads me to my next point…
After reviewing the menu and picking your swaps, make sure that you’re confident in your final choice. If you have to, call the restaurant and ask if substitutions can be made, and if they can make accommodations based on diet. Don’t ever lie and say you have allergies though. This forces people to bend over backwards for something that isn’t as serious as an allergy or intolerance.
Lastly, make sure you actually enjoy what you’re ordering. The amount of times I’ve gone out and ordered food because it was compliant and ended up hating it is much more than I’d like to admit. I really don’t like salmon, but I’ve ordered it so many times because it was the only healthy thing on the menu. Well, I was wrong, cause I could have had almost anything to eat if I had just thought outside the box. This way, you can be happy about your meal while making tweaks to stay on track.
I hope you find my dine-out hacks helpful for continuing on your health journey. Making small swaps (lettuce bun instead of bread, veggies instead of fries) can have a MAJOR impact on your diet. It will also allow you to leave a restaurant feeling satisfied – not stuffed. Next time you go out, remember, you don’t have to eat perfectly all of the time, but these small swaps and planning ahead has a huge payoff.
What are your favorite dining out hacks?!