Whether dining out with friends, on the road for work or traveling for a family vacation, it can be challenging to find convenient food options that keep you energized and satisfied.
1. Plan Ahead
Set-up for success by researching menus ahead of time and create a meal from the healthier selections. If you know you can’t resist pasta or dessert, designate your dining out experience as a “cheat” meal.
2. Stay Hydrated
Stick with water as your main beverage. Sparkling water and unsweetened teas are also healthy options. Add lemon wedges or sliced cucumber for variety. Limit caffeine intake to 2 cups daily. Ditch the low-fat dairy creamers and add heavy cream or pack Superfood Creamer. Add stevia if sweetness is desired.
3. Pack in Protein First
Increase metabolism and decrease appetite by eating protein first. Next, enjoy plenty of non-starchy veg with some natural fat. Lastly, enjoy non-starchy veg, grains, beans, legumes, and fruits at the end of your meal. Eating in this order helps stabilize blood sugar, increase satiation and prevent overeating. You’re much less likely to gorge on a giant potato after you’ve finished a grilled steak with asparagus and butter
4. Go For the Greens
Eating vegetables, leaves less room for refined carbs such as bread, pasta, chips, and french fries. Go for green veggies first, such as spinach, broccoli or asparagus. Starchy veg, such as red potatoes and sweet potatoes, can be healthier alternatives to refined carbs. Boost nutrients by choosing salads and lettuce wraps. If you can’t resist bread, select sourdough or “sprouted” varieties and make it a half sandwich.
5. Get the Right Fat
Choose natural fats such as avocados, butter, olives, olive oil, nuts, seeds, cheese, cottage cheese, or sour cream. Fat provides essential nutrients, keeps you full, and reduces appetite. Most restaurant sauces and dressings, especially “low-fat” ones, have added sugar. Enjoy sugary dips and dressings sparingly or ask for olive oil and vinegar instead. Lastly, this goes without saying, but avoid anything deep-fried.
6. Swap Your Salt
Pack a little baggie of sea salt and order your food unsalted. Table salt contains sodium and chloride with aluminum anti-caking agents, bleach and other harmful additives. Having the opposite effect of table salt, sea salt contains 84 minerals and trace elements as nature intended.
7. Learn to Lemonize
Add fresh lemon juice to water, tea, salads, chicken, fish, and veg for extra flavor. Lemons support weight loss, improve digestion, aid detoxification, and provide a decent amount of vitamin C and potassium.
8. Eat More Mindfully
When you improve how you eat, you’ll naturally improve what you eat. Start by being mindful of your first three bites and practice putting utensils down between bites. It’s this combination of awareness and small changes that produce the most effective results.
9. Strategize Your Splurges
Either plan two cheat meals a week to indulge, or abide by a three bite rule. The three bite rule is exactly as it sounds, enjoy three bites and call it quits. Make your cheat meal special by taking your time, savoring each bite, and letting go of any guilty feelings.
10. Choose Better Booze
Nix most mixed drinks and beware specialty cocktails that sound like desserts in a glass. Opt for healthier libations made from simple ingredients such as wine, lite beer or a spirit straight-up. Choose natural sweeteners like stevia, fruit or 100 percent fruit juice. Pinot Noir is top shelf as it contains decent amounts of the anti-aging antioxidant resveratrol. View 10 Smart Sip Swaps.
Starbucks: Coffee with heavy cream. No sweetener. Add almonds & apple.
Paradise Bakery: Fuji Apple Chicken Salad. No apple chips, dressing. Add olive oil, balsamic & avocado.
Pei Wei: Thai Coconut Beef, Chicken, or Shrimp Curry. No rice. Add veggies.
Baja Fresh: Tacos. No rice or beans. Add corn tortillas, veggies, guacamole & cheese.
Chipotle: Beef burrito bowl. No rice, beans or corn. Add peppers, onions, salsa, guacamole & cheese
Boston Market: Roasted Turkey or Rotisserie Chicken. No mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls. Add veg & butter.
In-N-Out: Double or Triple Burger. No bun, fries, cheese. Add lettuce tomato, pickles & mustard.
Subway: Chicken Salad. No bread, cookies or chips. Add olive oil, vinegar, veggies, chicken & olives.
KFC: Roasted Chicken. No skin or breading on chicken, no fries. Add a side of green beans.
Wendy’s: Chicken Caesar Salad (with dressing). No croutons. Add chicken.