How To Dine Out Healthy Like The French

How To Make Healthy Choices When You’re Eating Out Or Dining At Home

dining out healthy May 13, 2021

Unless you’re constantly dining out a lot with colleagues after work and on weekends—it’s okay to indulge a little and enjoy whatever you want from the menu.

These are life’s little joys that we all need to experience, on occasion for balanced emotional health as well.

"Give yourself permission to not be so restrictive when dining out, so that it does not become an uncomfortable experience"

People (myself included) who generally maintain a healthy eating regimen, usually refer to these as “cheat food rewards”.

These celebratory moments that we allow ourselves don’t often affect our healthy eating goals or overall weight management.

On the other hand, if you dine out frequently, it’s important to choose some healthier options.

You can also visit restaurants that feature flavorful yet healthier Mediterranean styled cuisines.

These tend to be more conducive to a heart-healthy and delicious nutrient-rich diet. There should always be a balanced selection and plating ratio of vegetables vs fats (meats or bread).

Fat is something that many restaurants have come to ‘lean on’

But interestingly—despite its reputation as a butter-rich cuisine, authentic “FRENCH cooking” these days actually use relatively little fat, preferring to create taste with other elements.

Dining choices don’t necessarily have to be ‘strictly’ vegan or vegetarian options.

Eating and lifestyle habits are formed through a variety of factors (cultural, medical, religious, etc.), and are personal and individualized.

What counts is what you eat as in REAL food versus PROCESSED, and the combination of certain foods together along with mindful awareness of how your body feels during your meal and even more importantly—afterwards.

When we engage in ’emotional eating’ habits that are not conducive to healthy weight management; we suffer long-term detriment to our health and longevity.

Living a healthy lifestyle as a busy professional need not be depriving or restrictive but you still need to modify certain dining behaviors. Now that restrictions have been lifted in 2021 what adjustments will you make dining out? 

Tips to Dining Out for a Healthy Lifestyle:

  • Limiting or eliminating certain choices you make early in your meal. This includes certain types of appetizers and high-calorie drinks.

  • Not consuming lots of bread which add fats and sugars to your gut.

  • If you are currently trying to lose weight but dine out a lot— “rethink and restrict”.

  • Choose lighter vinaigrettes or request healthy oils with herbs and spices be added. Eliminate those thickly sauced, creamed and buttered dishes.

  • Skip high calorie, sugary beverages. Drink a glass of water before you eat anything.

  • If you will be having wine for the evening, request that it comes with your meal so that your food absorbs some of the calories and alcohol.

It’s one thing to eat healthy at home when you’re in control of what’s available, right? But making healthy choices while traveling can sometimes put a strain on your ability to control your healthy eating habits.

Travel and meals out are a part of life —and quite enjoyable, don’t you think?!

So what I have discovered is that feeling confident and comfortable with making healthy choices with the options you’re given is an important part of continuing your healthy lifestyle.

Travel season is upon us. Getting ready is of the utmost importance.

Therefore, now is the time to get this under wraps so you can sail with confidence that you won’t enter another year with any unwelcomed extra pounds!

Stick with me because I’ll be helping you navigate times in your life when busy seems to dominate your lifestyle.

Unless you’re constantly dining out a lot with colleagues after work and on weekends—it’s okay to indulge a little and enjoy whatever you want from the menu.

These are life’s little joys that we all need to experience, on occasion for balanced emotional health as well.

It’s giving yourself permission to not be so restrictive that dining out is an uncomfortable experience.

People (myself included) who generally maintain a healthy eating regimen, usually refer to these as “cheat food rewards”. These celebratory moments that we allow ourselves don’t often affect our healthy eating goals or overall weight management.

On the other hand, if you dine out frequently, it’s important to chose some healthier options.

You can also visit restaurants that feature flavorful yet healthier Mediterranean styled cuisines.

These tend to be more conducive to a heart healthy and delicious nutrient rich diet. There should always be a balanced selection and plating ratio of vegetables vs fats (meats or breads). 

"Fat is something that many restaurants have come to ‘lean on’ (no pun)".

But interestingly—despite it’s reputation as a butter rich cuisine, authentic “FRENCH cooking” these days actually uses relatively little fat, preferring to create taste with other elements.

Dining choices don’t necessarily have to be ‘strictly’ vegan or vegetarian options. Eating and lifestyle habits are formed through a variety of factors (cultural, medical, religious, etc.), and are personal and individualized.

What counts is what you eat as in REAL food versus PROCESSED; and the combination of certain foods together along with mindful awareness of how your body feels during your meal and even more importantly—afterwards.

When we engage in ’emotional eating’ habits that are not conducive to healthy weight management; we suffer long-term detriment to our healthy and longevity.

Living a healthy lifestyle as a busy professional need not be depriving or restrictive but you still need to modify certain dining behaviors.

Tips to Dining Out for a Healthy Lifestyle:

  • Limiting or eliminating certain choices you make early in your meal. This includes certain types of appetizers and high calorie drinks.

  • Not consuming lots of bread which adds fats and sugars to your gut.

  • If you are currently trying to lose weight but dine out a lot— “rethink and restrict” . Choose lighter vinaigrettes or request healthy oils with herbs and spices be added. Eliminate those thickly sauced, creamed and buttered dishes.

  • Skip high calorie, sugary beverages. Drink a glass of water before you eat anything.

  • If you will be having wine for the evening, request that it comes with your meal so that your food absorbs some of the calories and alcohol.

Simple tips you can take with you wherever you go… 

Don’t be afraid to ask! If you’re having difficulty finding something healthy on a menu, don’t be afraid to ask for a modification. People have more restrictions now, so restaurants are equipped to handle on the fly changes in a menu. Rather you are gluten intolerant, allergic to seafood or peanut oil.

So, for example, if you’re at an Italian restaurant with a menu full of pasta dishes —consider substituting the pasta for broccoli or spinach. You still get the toppings and sauce, but without the plate full of carbs. I love doing this!

3 Tips To Try Next Time You Dine Out

  1. Prepare yourself before going out.

  2. Pre-look the menu before you dine out

  3. Decide which of the meals on the menu are both tasty and healthy

I know all of the foregoing can seem time-consuming and not the kind of task you want to do while you’re in the restaurant. If you are like me and want to age gracefully, it will be smart to look at the menu of the restaurant before hand, which can usually be found on their website.

From the comfort of your own home, you can research which of the meals is the healthiest, and you’ll be ready to order when you get there without studying the menu for ten minutes! Learning how to do this is something that I offer my clients in our coaching sessions. If you need assistance just shoot me an email to schedule an appointment.

My favorite tip is making an appetizer as my meal with a side salad

The amount of food you get with an appetizer and a small side salad is just the right amount. Not like the oversized portions often found on the entrée menu. I’m not sure about you, but haven’t you notice how the plates have gotten bigger over the last few years?

So, as you can see, these are simple hacks that will make a huge difference in the quality of food you eat while eating out.  With healthy restaurants popping up everywhere, making healthy choices becomes easier and easier to find healthy options while eating out, so take advantage of that.

What are some of your favorite healthy hacks to use while eating out?  Hit reply and let me know, I love to add new tips to my arsenal. If you like my tips in this article please leave a comment.

Interested in more tips on eating healthy while travelling Sign up for my FREE Masterclass: Chic Women Don't Diet, How To Regain Your Strut Without Limiting What You Eat” CLICK HERE

About the Author

Milan Perry, HHP, MH

I help women over 40 like you, who feel they have hit a plateau in achieving their wellness or ideal weight goals. I know you want to look and feel amazing in your skin, enjoy some decadent dessert without the guilt, and lose weight in a healthy, holistic way (without dieting!) so that you can stay at the top of your game.

Are you ready? 

Clients we work with are committed and know they need to either lose weight or are ready to bring healthy living into their life. They know they need accountability in order to stay consistent. Which helps them lose the weight and keep it off long term, living a healthier lifestyle. This is not a quick fix but a sustainable way to look and feel your best. That's what we want for you.

Professionally trained as a Master Herbalist, gourmet chef, wine consultant. health and wellness coach and menu planner. Milan coach women/couples/men that have tried the fad diets for quick weight loss without success.

If you’re still struggling with trying to maintain your weight and feel as confident as you used to, schedule your FREE Chic Women Don’t Diet’ Makeover call with Milan. We feel the “joie de vivre” is wine + anti-aging (not in that order).

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