You know that feeling. It’s Saturday afternoon, you worked out hard all week, you lost a couple more pounds and now, you get that phone call… It’s a close friend and they invite you to go to this brand-new restaurant in town that has been getting rave reviews.
You’re panic-stricken for a hot second, but then come to your senses and realize that YOU are the master and YOU are in complete control of what you eat and drink.
No one is going to pin you to the floor, force their knee on your chest and make you eat or drink something that will blow your diet to smithereens. If you do have a friend like that who want to disturb your healthy eating habits, they’re not really a friend at all and you should cut them out of your life.
The point is, there is never a reason to be anxiety-laden when it comes to dining out with friends, family or co-workers. Provided you have even the slightest bit of willpower, there is always something healthy to eat on a menu that fulfils your healthy eating habits. And one of the tricks of the trade to feel satisfied, while also getting a good dose of nutrients, is choosing sides.
Normally, this can get you into a scrap when it comes to people you know that are quarrelling. But the only quarrel you will have is with yourself if you are indecisive on what to get. Here is a little help for you in case you are in doubt.
Never give in to peer pressure when dining out. Friends love to twist arms and tell you that you need to live a little and you only live once. So why not have the blooming onion, cheeseburger and loaded cheese fries with a pint of beer? Well, for one thing, you will feel like your carrying a Volkswagen Bus in your belly when you leave.
Plus, that will throw all those previous days of training and healthy eating habits completely out the window. Then you’ll have to start from scratch and it can take multiple days to get back to the point where you once were.
You can eliminate all this heartache by choosing the right path instead.
Here’s the good news. You need not look any further than the area of the menu that says Sides. It may also say Sides/Apps. Either of works just fine because this is where you want to focus your attention.
Are you aware that a lot of sides are rather sizeable, filling, low in calories and delicious? Well, they are. In reality, you can skip an entree altogether and get two or three sides as your main meal.
An example of a good side would be roasted brussel sprouts. They are often made with pancetta or bacon bits sprinkled across the top too, so you get a little-added protein to the mix.
You can also find steamed vegetables, side salads, baked sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa dishes, hummus and veggies, and the list goes on and on. To maintain your healthy eating habits, order yourself some of these, pass on the bread and chew your food slowly. You will gain a ton of nutrients, fibre and satisfaction without gaining fat.
Don’t Forget the Salads
If you are concerned that you’re not getting enough protein in your meal, look for the speciality salads. These are not the side salads, but gourmet-style salads that are bigger, bulkier and come equipped with a chunk of protein on top like chicken, salmon, steak or shrimp.
Order yourself one of these along with your sides and you will be full, but not bloated, and also feel very happy that you made the right choice. So your self-confidence will also get a positive chi hit.
Sure it’s true. You can have one bad meal from time to time and not suffer too much bodily harm. But if you go out to eat often, those calories can add up quickly.
Equip yourself for these rigours by choosing sides and salads to get your way through the night. And for a good resource, use the HowUdish app to scope a place out before you even get there. This will take a lot of stress away from your dining experience.