Hi! I'm Becky from over at Olives 'n' Wine - a blog where I share my passion for keeping a balanced life through eating well, tasting great wine, staying active, and traveling to new places - and I'm excited to be doing a guest post for Danielle today :)
Truffles n’ Treadmills was one of the first blogs I started following when I began blogging a few months ago – I love Danielle’s posts about running, eating well on a budget and her daily college life - so I was thrilled when she asked me if I would be interested in doing a guest post!
If you read my blog, you’ll quickly realize that my husband, Kyle, and I are foodies. We’re foodies in a major way. We love testing new foods and recipes in our kitchen at home and trying out new restaurants in Minneapolis and while on vacation.
Kyle and I pre-dinner while on vacation in Mexico.
It is often thought that frequently visiting restaurants and healthy living can’t go hand in hand. Well, fear not my friends – I am here to save you from unhealthy restaurant habits! Not only am I a foodie, I am also an avid runner, yogi and CrossFitter. I have learned how to enjoy food at restaurants without ruining all of my hard work in the gym.
Kyle and I enjoying some Maryland Blue Crab while visiting my dad in Annapolis.
1. Just say no to the bread basket! Unless you haven’t eaten in the past 2 weeks or have just run a marathon your body doesn’t need the bread basket or the unlimited chips and salsa. Yes, it is free and of course it is delicious but before you dig in, ask yourself: How hungry am I? Will I still want my meal if I eat 2 slices of bread or a basket of tortilla chips? You are going to be paying good money for your entrees so it is best to save your appetite and hunger for them.
2. Skip the appetizers. This has the same rationale as #1. Appetizers are typically HUGE and will fill you up before you get your main meal! Unless you plan on sharing an appetizer with a big table full of friends, I recommend skipping this course.
3. Always order the smallest portion. If you have the option of ordering a small or large size of an entrée, always go with the smaller size. Remember, you are at a restaurant – If you are still hungry after finished your smaller plate, you can always order more!
4. Split entrees with your date or friend. If you don’t have the option of ordering a smaller sized entrée, you should split an entrée with a friend or your date. It is a great wait to lower the amount of calories you consume during a meal out and it won’t make you feel overly full or uncomfortable at the end of the meal!
5. Do not show up ravenous. Showing up starving is a recipe for disaster. You will want to (and probably will!) eat everything on the menu! Make sure you plan accordingly throughout the day to keep your hunger at a normal level. Along with this, drink 16 ounces of water just prior to arriving at a restaurant. Our minds often mistake thirst for hunger.
6. Order multiple small plates and share. Another restaurant trick that Kyle and I have been partaking in recently is ordering multiple smaller plates and sharing them. This is a great option, especially if you are interested in trying multiple items on the menu.
7. Ask for everything on the side. Yes, everything. Did you order a salad? Ask for the cheese and dressing on the side. How about a sandwich? Make sure you request that the mayo and toppings aren’t thrown on by the chef. By ordering your “extras” on the side, you can customize your meal how you like it and remove tons of fat and calories from your meal!
8. Set your fork and knife down between each bite. Enjoy the conversation with your friends or your significant other. Eating at a restaurant should be an experience; you should enjoy the ambiance of the table, the smell of the food and the company of those sharing your table! By setting your silverware down between bites, you will be able to better focus on the conversation and your hunger level.
9. Order what you are craving. Ultimately, unless you order what you are really craving at the moment, you will always want more. If you want fettuccine alfredo or a greasy hamburger with fries, then order it! Just make sure you are paying close attention to your hunger signals and to stop when you are no longer hungry. You could also ask your server to bring a doggy bag at the beginning of your meal and box up half of the portion in order to reduce the temptation.
10. Bring your own bottle of wine. Okay, so this one is more of a money-saving tip rather than a calorie saving tip ;) If you plan on enjoying a glass or two of wine while out to eat, call the restaurant ahead of time and ask how much their corkage fees are. Many times the y are willing to wave the fee for opening your bottle – or they have no fee at all – saving you tons of money on a wine purchase!
I hope these healthy-eating tips help you the next time you are at a restaurant! If you have any questions or would like to share your healthy restaurant eating tips and tricks, I’d love to hear them!
A HUGE thanks to Danielle for asking me to guest post on her blog today :) I hope you'll stop by Olives 'n' Wine and see what I'm all about!