Multi-talented health coach, cookbook writer, wellness speaker, and founder of Walker Well-Being, Tammy Walker is all about making long-term healthy choices. It can be incredibly difficult to make positive food choices all day long (our sweet tooth tends to go into overdrive come 3P.M.), so this week Tammy is lending a hand and sharing her favorite healthy lifestyle tips on our blog.
Making your healthy eating goals jive with a social life can be tough, especially if you love to eat out. Before I became a health and nutrition coach, I was a publicist for some of the best chefs and restaurants in the country. My career and social life revolved around checking out new restaurants, so I often dined out 5 or 6 nights a week.
In order to stick to my goals while having a good time, I learned some tricks for navigating restaurant menus and group dining. As we sail into the weekend, I want to share a few of my favorite strategies.
Take the initiative
Choose the restaurant or narrow it to a few places for your dining mates to choose from. That way, you know you’ll have healthy options. Also, order first. Temptation is harder to resist when your friends go first and get The Awesome Fried Thing and That Melty Cheese Thing.
Have a game plan
When possible, check out the menu online and plan what you’ll order. This includes how many drinks you’ll have, if any. Otherwise, you find yourself rationalizing that side of fries or the “just one more” drink in the moment. We all know how that goes!
Build your meal with appetizers and sides
Order two apps or an app and a side as your meal. You’ll get a variety of tastes, but in more reasonable portions. Also, many chefs I’ve worked with consider appetizers to be their best dishes because those offer the most opportunity for them to get creative and highlight seasonal foods.
Front-load with vegetables
Multiple studies show that if you have a salad or broth-based vegetable soup before your main course, you eat less later. Plus, you’re getting all the great vitamins and antioxidants veggies offer!
Don’t eat like a bird all day to “save calories for later”
Showing up starving inevitably leads to a bread basket face-dive and overeating. Have a protein and fiber-filled breakfast and lunch and a handful of nuts an hour before your reservation.
Staying in for the evening? Check out five ways to become your own kitchen goddess (Nigella would approve!)