Katie Bulmer-Cooke: Staying healthy when eating out

July 18, 2016

Visiting a restaurant with family and friends is meant to be fun, but what happens when you’re trying to be ‘good’, asks fitness entrepreneur Katie Bulmer-Cooke

Picture the scene: you do a great job improving your eating habits, you make some very positive changes, your body starts to change for the better, you are in full control and everything is going well. Then someone invites you out for a meal.
You spin off into a world of panic, saying and thinking things like, ‘What will I eat?’,
‘There will be nothing I can have!’, or even, ‘I shouldn’t go!’.
So is eating out healthily possible?
It may seem like everything will be taken from your control when you eat out, and you’ll undo all of your hard work. The reality is that that simply isn’t the case.
You have to be able to have a life, socialise and do ‘normal’ things. You can’t live your life eating every single meal in the house. Food shouldn’t dominate your life and spoil your fun.
With this in mind, here are my top tips to eating out healthily and keeping it clean and lean…

Choose the venue wisely
I’m often asked about the best style of restaurant for eating healthily.
The answer is, you really can eat anywhere. It’s just all about making the best choices possible.
For example, at an Italian restaurant you can get a chicken/fish/steak dish with a tomato-based sauce and vegetables. At a Thai/Asian fusion restaurant, you can opt for stir fry, rice noodle dishes and soups, and at an Indian restaurant you can choose things like tomato-based curries or dry tikka dishes and ditch the breads.

Plan ahead
In exactly the same way you do with your meals at home and prep for work. Check the menu out online or better still, have a look at a few different restaurants online first, before you make you final choice, then plan which selection you’re going to go for.

If you don’t ask, you don’t get
Just because something isn’t on the menu, that doesn’t mean you can’t have it. Most restaurants are extremely accommodating and will be happy to make tweaks to their existing dishes, such as swapping pasta for vegetables in a bolognese, for example.

Don’t turn up starving
It’s so much easier to make bad choices when you’re hungry, so have a small snack before the meal.

Portion size
It can be so tempting to eat everything you’re served in a restaurant as it’s so tasty, but pay attention to what your body is telling you and when you are satisfied/full, then it’s time to stop. The same goes for number of courses. Do you really need all three?

Katie Bulmer-Cooke
Katie Bulmer-Cooke is an award winning health and fitness entrepreneur, consultant and speaker (contact Michael@usb-uk.com)