We all love eating out because it’s fun, sociable and easy. However, the truth is, eating out while on Evolve21 Challenge requires some attention. Below you’ll find smart tips to help you stick to your goals and avoid poor food choices without having to give up your social life.
Tips for eating out:
Think ahead and don’t arrive starving. Eat a small snack such as a few raw nuts, a few bites of avocado or leftover meat before you head out the door.
Preview the restaurant’s menu online before you go.
Pass on the bread basket—it’ll keep temptation away! Ask for sliced veggies or olives instead.
Either skip the appetizers or opt for a salad starter.
Entrées are easy. While finger food is often breaded, fried, or otherwise carb-loaded, entrées that are made of simpler ingredients can be easy to find.
Look for grilled, broiled, or baked options. These typically aren’t breaded, so they’ll be safer. Ask the server for details on how things are prepared; they’re used to questions!
Be polite, but get the answers you need.
Make substitutions. If a meal comes with French fries, bread, pasta, potatoes, or rice simply ask for steamed vegetables and butter instead. Ask for sauces on the side, always!!
If choosing something from the menu and making changes seems complicated, or the server is not collaborating, ask for plain things such as grilled/broiled/baked chicken, fish or beef with steamed vegetables and a side of butter or vegetables sautéed in butter.
Depending of your hunger level, instead of an appetizer get a green salad with slices of avocado. For dressing, ask for olive oil, lemon and salt.
Bunless or lettuce-wrapped burgers (no sauce, no cheese) are ok.
Stay away from fried foods, anything breaded, meatballs (often contain breadcrumbs), sandwiches, wraps, pre-mixed dressings, sauces (most have hidden sugars, cornstarch, flour, soy and/or dairy).
If getting sashimi or broiled fish; skip sauces and soy sauce. Ask for tamari (gluten-free, fermented soy sauce), lemon and salt. Ask for steamed veggies, avocado and green salad. Seaweed salads often contains vinegar, sugar and MSG so stay away!
If you are at a Mexican restaurant ask for raw celery, carrots, cucumber or tomatoes to dip into guacamole. Meat, salsa, and avocado, ask for these ingredients to be placed over a salad or steamed vegetables.
It’s best to avoid Chinese food. Many of the sauces contain hidden sweeteners and MSG.
A curry dish or other coconut milk–based dish with a side of steamed veggies are ok but ask your server if there are added thickeners and sugars into these sauces. If so, find something else.
At parties or social meetings:
Ask the host what they plan on serving so you know what to expect. Bring a dish or two that you know you can enjoy and that will satisfy your hunger. The host will be happy to have the contribution, and you’ll be glad to know that you won’t be hungry all night if they’re serving only foods that you aren’t currently eating.
Above all, enjoy the social experience since it’s a great way to get reconnected with friends and family!