This time of year is a struggle for most of us setting our New Year’s resolutions and deciding a couple of weeks later that giving up chocolate, cake, biscuits and crisps all at once is an impossible task.
Who decided that healthy eating resolutions should be made in January anyway? There are piles of festive goodies and chocolate around and it is without a doubt the most depressing month, so it just seems wrong to throw the best things out of the window (indulgent food and alcohol!)
Most of us cope well with our week’s usual routine but when the weekend comes, or we get invited out to eat, we need to adjust.
Most restaurant chains have lighter options to make eating out on a diet easy, Pizza Express cater for those on the 5:2 diet with their Leggera Superfood Salad at 295 calories or Leggera pizzas at 500 calories each, while Zizzi offer smaller portions of their regular meals with salad for those wanting to cut down.
So if you know which restaurant you are going to, check the menu online and work out the healthiest options. And maybe opt for two courses instead of three!
Here are a few simple tips to help you cope with your eating out social life this January:
1. Grab some bran – If possible, just before you go out, have a small bowl of high-fibre cold cereal (such as All-Bran) with skimmed milk and sweetener. This will take the edge off your appetite and get some fibre into your digestive system.
2. Order water – Once seated in the restaurant, drink a glass of water. It will help you feel fuller.
3. Slow down and savour – Remember to eat slowly to allow your brain the time it needs to realise you are full. Put your fork down between mouthfuls and savour your meal.
4. Banish the bread – Once the basket of rolls or bread (which you will ignore) has been passed around the table, ask the waiter to remove it. The longer it sits, the more tempted you will be to dig in.
5. Start with soup or salad – Order a soup or salad first and tell the waiter you would like this as soon as possible. This will keep you from sitting hungry while others are filling up on bread.
6. Ask for extra veggies – Since you probably won’t get boiled small or new potatoes, ask for a double serving of vegetables instead.
7. Go for lean protein – Stick with low-fat cuts of meat or poultry. If necessary, you can remove the skin.
8. Sauce on the side – As with salads, ask for any sauces or gravies to be served on the side.
9. Finish with fruit – For dessert, fresh fruit and berries – without the ice cream – are your best options.
10. Do decaf – Order only decaffeinated coffee.
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