THE ART OF EATING OUT & BEING SOCIAL:
Remember being social is a big part of our Happiness and Wellbeing so should always be enjoyed.
You don't need to feel deprived and you shouldn't stop being social in order to eat healthy!
Here are some of my helpful tips when Eating Out:
1. Plan ahead - If you know you are going out consider your food choices that day. Don't eat too little though as you'll be famished by the time you get to the restaurant. So just be mindful and choose healthier, smaller options.
2. Be prepared - Choose the cafe/restaurant yourself if you can. Check out the menu beforehand (most are online) and make your choice. When you get to the restaurant don't even open the menu.
3. Choose foods that are steamed, baked or grilled. If you're unsure how it's cooked always ask!
4. Pre-order if you can. Most work lunches do this which is a great option. If you pre-order this means you'll be less tempted to over order or make unhealthy choices once you're there.
5. Ask for sauces and dressings on the side.
6. Eat something light and filling about an hour beforehand, like an apple or some protein like nuts or yoghurt to curb your hunger along with lots of water throughout the day.
7. Consider ordering an entree instead of a main with a salad or steamed veggies on the side. Often this may just be enough.
8. Think about your portion sizes. Remember you don't have to eat everything that's on your plate. Ask if you can take some home and divide it up before you start.
9. Share a main (or dessert) with a friend/partner if you know it will be a large serving.
10. If you feel like a dessert but there's nothing on the menu that really appeals to you then skip it altogether. No point in having a dessert if you don't really feel like it.
Often even a latte or cappuccino will suffice!
12. When sharing foods with family and friends remember it's ok to say NO to foods you don't want to eat and instead suggest an alternative dish or order a separate dish. Remember you also have a choice and you are entitled to eat foods that you like and make you feel good.
One of biggest challenges I hear from my clients is the struggle in saying no to family and friends when ordering out, sharing meals or eating at someone's house.
Think of this analogy to help you. If you were trying to quit smoking would your friends offer you a cigarette? I'm pretty sure the answer would be no. By highlighting this to your family/friends this can often quickly resolve any issues around you feeling uncomfortable and unsupported about your food choices and wanting to eat healthy and more so, your friends may not even be realize they are making you feel this way.
And remember the focus doesn't need to be on the Food. The food accompanies the conversations and friendships. It's about being present in the moment, having a good time with your family and friends and lots of laughs and chatter.