Healthy Foods to Eat in Restaurants

Why dining out doesn’t have to mean missing out.

The whole point of eating well is to increase your confidence, health  and ability to get out the door enjoy life to the fullest – so what’s the point if you can’t enjoy yourself once you get out?

Dining out at restaurants isn’t cheap, and you shouldn’t have to pay more for an experience that is less than satisfying; it’s a chance to splurge and shouldn’t be restricted to not-so-special, no-thrills, no-taste menu items.

Fortunately, when it comes to SlimWell’s proven weight-loss program, you can ditch the stress and guilt that can come from eating out and enjoy those foods you crave, from greasy burgers to delicious desserts — just don’t make it your daily habit.

For those of us who dine out frequently (or who want to save their splurging for dessert), there are lots of delicious options for healthy foods to eat out there that will allow you to stay on track without too much sacrifice.

Here are some tips to help you eat healthy and limit calories in restaurants:

  • Save half: Not only will this limit the calories you intake, it saves money and sets you up to enjoy a tasty meal, twice! Or, if it isn’t something that will keep for long, why not split it with a friend? (You can burn a few extra calories fighting over the last few bites).
  • Skip the Calorie-Heavy Fillers: Skip the free bread, soda with refills and cheese-covered appetizers and focus on enjoying your main course. Typically these are big enough to satisfy your hunger, which will reduce waste and expense, and are less packed with the fat, sugars and salt of most starters.
  • Compromise: There are plenty of ways to significantly reduce calories, without sacrificing the flavours you most enjoy about a dish. Substitute out heavy, rich sauces and dressings for less fattening, equally flavour-filled alternatives. Hold the cheese, ask for condiments on the side and eliminate anything you don’t care about if it’s adding calories.
  • Get Proactive: If you know you are going out for a calorie-filled meal, find ways to burn more calories that day doing what you are doing anyway. Take the stairs, park further away from the door, or if you can, schedule 15 minutes of activity designed to get your heart rate up. 15 minutes of exercise can pave the way for an hour of guilt-free eating out.
  • Experiment: Challenge yourself to test out new, healthy foods to eat. You’d be surprised just how delicious food can be when it’s prepared by a professional. Just because you hated the frozen fish your mom served on plain rice, doesn’t mean you won’t absolutely love cod with tomato-dill relish and harissa lime mayo, smoked mackerel with beet and apple salad and creamy horseradish dressing or even Spanish, rice-stuffed squid.
  • Finally, try to focus on enjoying the full experience of eating out, and don’t just focus on the food. Take in the atmosphere, be social and revel in the chance to be served. 

Over time, you may discover that the real joy of eating out has more to do with the company you keep than the food you eat.

Master Through Measurement

How to properly track your eating habit

It’s a no-brainer that keeping records of the foods you are eating acts as a great tool for identifying ongoing eating habits and weight loss roadblocks. And yet so many of us continue to repeat bad habits on a daily basis, either consciously or subconsciously, and then wonder why we never achieve any real change.

Research suggests that one of the best ways to achieve the change we seek is by first identifying, and tracking to gain an accurate picture of what we eat, do and feel; after all, many of us underestimate what we actually eat in a day.

By tracking the details of our habits, we can identify patterns of unhealthy choices.

A standard template for tracking food and identifying eating habits includes:

  • Date, day and time. It’s important to understand the ‘when’ behind your habits as well as the ‘what’
  • All foods. This includes anything you put in your mouth to consume, including drinks, snacks, gum, etc. Be specific on the types and amounts, and include details such as what was added (condiments, toppings, etc).
  • Portion sizes. Measure or estimate the size in weight, volume or number of items.
  • Your location. Take note of where you are, whether it’s in the break room or on the bus or at the kitchen table with family
  • Who are you with – are you eating alone or with company.
  • What’s happening. Are you focused on eating or are you caught up in conversation or a good show on TV.
  • Your mood. How do you feel — happy, sad, stressed, angry?

It may seem like a lot of detail, but that’s what’s required to understand the full picture of your eating habits – so be thorough and completely honest. Fortunately, SlimWell makes all of this super easy via our mobile app that ensures you always have somewhere to log your information and track your progress.

The Secret to Success.

How Setting Realistic Goals is Crucial Towards Weight Loss

One of the best ways to ensure successful weight loss is to eliminate the stress and frustration that comes from setting yourself up for failure; instead of an “all or nothing approach” that would require a miracle, try setting smaller, progressive goals — you’ll be surprised how quickly they add up…

Regardless of why you’re setting your goals, or whether they are focused on weight loss exclusively, or part of a series of resolutions designed to get you closer to your ideal you, setting goals is a proven way to keep you motivated and let you know when progress has been made, no matter how small.

That’s why it’s of utmost important to approach your goals thoughtfully, making them your own!

The more aligned your goals are with that which you like or hold as a priority, the more likely you are to achieve success. So while we certainly don’t want to stifle your enthusiasm or your ambition, setting goals that make sense for your life and lifestyle is a good way to get some early, and encouraging, wins.

Don’t worry, you can always reassess goals and challenge yourself more and more as you go along, but starting with something to big, that takes too long to achieve, can lead to frustration.

To better explain an approach to goal-setting that we believe works, we present the following:

Start with your Outcome Goals

An outcome goal is exactly as it sounds: the result of your long-term efforts. It defines the vision you have for yourself? It should be bold, specific and measurable. They should inspire and excite you. Once defined, these goals will remain in focus as you plan the framework for the short-term process goals that, when achieved, will push you closer to achieving you Outcome Goal.

Examples of Outcome Goals:

  • Lose 50 pounds.
  • Pay off $25K in debt.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Become a stand-up comedian.
  • Run a marathon.

Strategize Process Goals

Process goals lead us down a path of specific action, without concerning themselves with any specific, immediate outcome.  They speak to actions that are appropriate and aligned with our Outcome Goal; things that can be done regularly, that when added together, lead to significant, positive change.

Using the same list of Outcome Goals above, here are some examples of aligned, strategic Process Goals.

  • Stop snacking after 7pm
  • Instead of buying Starbucks, make coffee at home and put $3/day in jar.
  • Reduce the number of cigarettes per day by two
  • Sign up for an improv class
  • Always take the stairs

Many people find that when they focus on process goals instead of outcome goals, the outcomes (such as weight loss) take care of themselves. Small steps build confidence and healthy habits. They are the building blocks of true change.

Commit to a Variety of Daily Process Goals

When it comes to losing weight, these daily, process goals can help you track your calories and stay engage in physical activity. They can revolve around measurable actions, or support your need for emotional growth. In addition to taking physical action, how you think and feel can be influenced by goal setting as well.

Committing to things like:”Today I will stop eating before I feel full” or “Today I will focus for five minutes on what I love about myself and my life.” can be just as important as skipping that morning donut or walking to get the mail instead of driving that block.

Accomplishing something every day, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, will slowly change how you look at yourself and the world around you.

Don’t Forget to Enjoy Yourself

If it isn’t fun, then why bother?

All work and no play makes for goals that are easy to leave unaccomplished, so make sure your process goals fill your days with joy. In fact, if your goals aren’t any fun, add having fun to your list!

A study of individuals who maintained their weight after completing a weight-loss program attributed it to the feelings of satisfaction they got from engaging in high-quality daily activities.

So remember… in order to achieve your long-term goals, make a commitment, but then don’t focus too far into the future.

It’s all about today.

What are you going to do?