It’s important to agree with yourself beforehand that no matter what anyone says you will stick to your guns and make healthy choices.
People often find it confusing when it comes to reading a menu and being able to decipher what is ‘’clean’’ and what isn’t.
The main thing you need to be able to do is not be afraid to ASK for changes to you meal, for instance if you are having a sandwich you could ask for whole meal bread instead of white bread. My boyfriend gets SO annoyed when we go out to eat as it takes me like 5 minutes to explain my order because I ask for like a million different changes or substitutes, and most places are happy to make changes to your order, but you will get the occasional restaurant that won’t.
When I eat out somewhere I will skip places like burger joints or fish and chip shops as they usually don’t have any healthy options at all to choose from.
I find breakfast to be the easiest meal out of all of them, I know this may seem strange with things like bacon and sausages on the menu, but it really is quite easy when it comes to choosing healthy options.
So if I feel like cheating a little bit, but not having a HUGE fatty meal, I will order eggs benedict on whole meal toast, with ham instead of bacon and the hollandaise sauce on the side, that way I can control how much sauce I put on my meal, and I also might get a side of avocado too so I use even less sauce.
Steer clear of things like bacon, sausages and anything deep fried like hash browns.
Vegetarian breakfasts are a great option because they usually have interesting things in them like grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, pesto, eggs or pumpkin bread! And if you feel like a bit of meat you could always add a side of ham instead of bacon.
If you aren’t a fan of hot breakfasts then the continental breakfast is usually a lot healthier anyway. Anything from fruit salad to yogurt and muesli will be reasonably clean and a great choice for breakfast! But steer clear of things like pancakes, high sugary cereals and breakfast pastries as these are obviously not very clean at all!
Now! When it comes to lunch and dinner things can get a little tricky.
When I am reading a menu I will never even look at the pizza/pasta section, my attention is immediately drawn to the salads. Usually restaurants will do quite interesting salads that can be really delicious! The most amazing salad I have ever eaten was a tandoori chicken salad with mango and minted yogurt. But if I can’t see anything that takes my fancy ill look for things like steak or grilled chicken.
If you are a steak eater, then an eye fillet is probably the best option as it isn’t a huge portion and it is probably the leanest cut of meat you can get. Steak is usually served with chips, or mashed potato and salad, instead of this a healthier option would be to just get double salad, and always ask for the dressing and gravy on the side. A nice substitute to gravy on steak is Dijon mustard as it gives it a whole lot more flavor and is a cleaner option.
If you aren’t a big steak fan there will most likely be some sort of chicken or pork option which is just as healthy, but always steer clear of the side dishes like chips, or mashed potato, and get salad or steamed veggies instead.
Try to stay away from anything shallow fried; deep fried, crumbed or battered, this will be things like the chicken schnitzel, fish and chips, salt and pepper squid, etc.
I also stay away of any kind of mince or burger that will have a mincemeat patty as this is usually not top quality mince and probably high in saturated fats.
If I do feel like a burger then a chicken burger is a great option! I always try to replace the buns with whole meal bread and always get the sauce on the side so I can control my portions.
Japanese or Vietnamese restaurants are also always a great place to find healthy fresh foods! There are so many different options and they are all so delicious, but you still need to stay away from anything deep fried or battered like spring rolls or curry puffs.
Soups are a great option in Asian restaurants, as are dumplings- they can be quite high in carbs but they are usually always steamed so this leaves them with virtually no fat. I know Vietnamese restaurants do amazing salads as well so this is a great option too. If you want a dish with rice always try and get brown rice instead, or just order something with a lot of veggies so you don’t even need rice!
Try and stay away from Chinese or Thai restaurants and stick mainly to Japanese or Vietnamese because they usually have a wider variety of yummy healthy dishes.
Now moving on to dessert! MOST places will not have a healthy option for dessert, if you can spy a fruit salad then great! Go for gold! But apart from that everything will be high in sugar and/or fat so it would be best to just skip dessert all together and just order a nice coffee instead.
Don’t be fooled by things like ‘’low fat sorbet/ice cream’’ as these are almost ALWAYS high in sugar.
So eating out can actually be quite easy if you educate yourself on what is good and what isn’t.
Don’t ever be afraid to ASK for changes to your order! Seriously, even if you feel like you are annoying everyone at the table, who cares? If you want something in life you need to be able to speak up.