How eating out doesn't have to sabotage your weight loss efforts

If you go out to eat, there are 2 ways of approaching meals: 
let yourself go!


control and choose...

Whether you’re already plant-based or just having more plant-based meals, there is so much choice it’s a lot easier to eat out now. It’s also a lot easier to make not-so-healthy choices! 

Of course, if you only eat out now and again what you have is not going to have a big impact on your weight loss efforts and, if it’s a special occasion, you certainly won’t want to feel you’re missing out. 

If you eat out regularly though there’s no point sabotaging your efforts and undoing all your good work by eating too much or overindulging in highly calorific food. 

It’s a good idea to think about what you are going to eat and to follow these simple guidelines:

Alcohol - mix it with mineral water or avoid it all together. It may be worth remembering that a large glass of wine has about the same calories as a doughnut! 
Nibbles - it can be really easy to not realise how much you are eating of things like nuts and crisps.
Starters - avoid anything heavy. Choose things like fruit or tomato-based soup.  
Main courses - choose simple grilled or roasted meals. Avoid rich sauces and fried food and limit your portion size.  
Vegetables and salads - eat as much as you can.  
Cheese - don’t be tempted to eat cheese and biscuits as well as your main meal. Vegan cheese is still high in fat, saturated fat and salt, although generally slightly less than dairy cheese.
Chocolates, cakes and pastries - all are high in calories and saturated fat. Choose fruit salad or sorbets for dessert. If you really want a piece of cake or chocolate dessert then why not share? That way you get the taste, you’re not going to feel overly full or uncomfortable and you won’t have that guilty feeling afterwards.


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*****************************************************************Eating out is enjoyable and sociable, and provided you choose wisely you can still eat healthily. Here are some tips to help:

Choose dishes that are not fried or cooked in fat
Choose jacket potatoes rather than fries/chips
Choose high carbohydrate meals - rice, pasta, and pizza, preferably wholemeal/wholegrain versions
Avoid rich and creamy sauces and desserts
Order salad/veg without dressings
Eat rolls etc. without spread or minimal spread

A bit of planning can be really helpful
Some restaurants will provide the calorie information on the menus so you could always have a look online first to help you make your decision before you get to the restaurant.

Remember that even in exclusively vegan cafes and restaurants the focus is probably not going to be on healthy food which is low in sugar, salt and fat. 

Don’t be led by your fellow diners! If it feels okay let them know in advance you want to lose weight and that you may choose something different from now on.