Now we’re in the thick of all the work dos and catching up with friends and relatives in the lead up to Christmas we can end up eating out a lot more often than usual. It can be tricky balancing all these special occasions with food and drink choices we’re happy with. Here are some ideas that may come in handy to keep you in the driver’s seat when it comes to making healthy decisions.
- You decide where to go out to eat. Try somewhere that includes some lower calorie options on their menu.
- Some places that serve food also have the nutritional info on their menu to help you find the lower calorie options.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a menu item to be changed, such as swapping chips to boiled potatoes or leaving the sauce on the side so you can decide how much you have.
- Drinks can rack up the calorie count on what might already be quite an energy dense meal out. Try to keep to low calorie drinks, or get the extra bonus of saving some pennies by sticking to tap water with your meal.
- If you choose to have an alcoholic drink then a dry wine spritzer (with soda water) or spirit with a diet mixer will provide a lot less energy than that jazzy Christmas cocktail on 2-4-1 at happy hour!
- If you fancy a taste of something a bit more energy dense why not share a portion?
- Order a side of vegetables. The fibre in the veg will help you feel full so you won’t eat as much of the other foods.
- You may decide to have some foods to celebrate that you wouldn’t usually eat and that’s ok! Food can be a nice way to celebrate together. If eating out is a rare occasion for you then it won’t make much difference to your overall health.
- You decide on your portion. If you’ve been served a big portion try separating off what you want to eat before you start. The rest can come home in a doggy bag if you don’t want to waste anything.
- If you go to a place that you know serves big portions you could ask whether they will do a child’s portion. Or order a starter and side dish of veg to get a better balance.
There are some great ideas for meal swaps and other tips on eating out at: