One thing that most people worry about when going through a complete diet and workout program like P90X or Insanity is eating out. You can’t eat at home every night, and there are going to be many times where you are going to be forced to eat out, whether it’s for a family event or get together. Most people fear eating out because restaurants anymore don’t have many healthy food options. You never know what the food is cooked in or how many calories you’re going to be consuming, and I’ve discovered even the “healthy” stuff really isn’t all that healthy. However, from being on a strict diet for so long, I’ve figured out some ways to make eating out healthier and more enjoyable.
Before I started P90X, I literally ate out 3-4 times per week. When I did eat out, it wasn’t healthy food, and I usually got fried chicken fingers and French fries loaded with cheese and bacon, or I would get something like pizza or spaghetti, which we all know are loaded with unhealthy carbs. When I started P90X, I knew that I had to change my diet, and that meant when I ate out as well. I’ve learned how to make adjustments while eating out so that I could be comfortable in what I was putting into my body. Here are some healthy tips for eating out.
(1) Watch the salads. When most people order a salad at a restaurant, they believe they are eating something that’s good for them. Well, not anymore. Restaurants tend to load their salads with cheese, bacon, croutons, and fatty dressings. Salads can easily be just as unhealthy for you as the worst food on the menu! If you do decide to order a salad, make sure you (1) make sure the chicken on the salad is not breaded or buttered, (2) ask for no cheese, (3) ask for no croutons, and (4) stick with a light or fat-free dressing. When you do these things, you can feel comfortable that you’re eating something that is healthy for you.
(2) You can’t go wrong with grilled chicken and veggies. Just about every restaurant has a grilled chicken and vegetable dinner option. However, to make these foods taste better, restaurants usually soak the chicken and veggies in butter and oil, which can quickly turn this healthy meal into an unhealthy one. Make sure that you ask for no butter!
(3) Look for a healthy food section. Most restaurants are beginning to understand that there are some people who DO like to eat healthy, so they have created a healthy food section in their menu! Even though these sections may be small, they can help you choose a healthy meal. Some restaurants that have added this to their menu include Applebee’s, Panera, Friday’s, IHOP, and Bob Evans.
(4) Watch the carbs! Most restaurants like to give out free bread before the meals, and usually it’s only white bread, which is a simple carb. For those of you who don’t know, simple carbs are digested into the system very quickly, increasing insulin levels and promoting fat storage. Always ask for whole grain or whole wheat bread. However, even if there are whole grain options, always limit the amount you consume!
(5) Go for the fish! Most restaurants have fish available on their menu like halibut, salmon, etc., which is very healthy for you, just as long as it’s not soaked in oil and butter.
Remember, there ARE ways to eat healthy while eating out! Never feel bad for asking the waiter or waitress to make sure no butter is added to your food!
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