Going out to eat for a special occasion can be a great time, but if you’re on a diet, you might find yourself struggling to stick to it. With the variety of unhealthy options available at most restaurants, it’s important to remember that there are ways to still stick to your goals while also enjoying your meal.
In fact, 67% of millennial consumers say they love ordering healthy options at a restaurant. Here are a few tips and tricks that you can use to enjoy your dinner out while sticking to your diet goals.
Try Something New
Is there an ingredient in a dish that you don’t recognize, or a flavor combination that seems a bit weird when you look at it on the menu? Give it a try; you might be surprised by what you find. According to a 2016 Trend Insight Report from Fona International, 40% of Millennials are bored with standard fruit and juice flavors. In fact, three quarters of consumers are looking for new flavors in ethnic cuisines, and two thirds want bolder flavors and unfamiliar foods. Brands, manufacturers, and businesses that offer customized products or unique flavor blends will appeal to this demographic. Be on the lookout for unusual combos, and you might discover a flavor blend you didn’t know you enjoyed.
Location, Location, Location
Eating healthy isn’t always just about what foods you’re eating, it can also be about where that food is coming from and how it’s grown. For example, 2,500 varieties of apples are grown in the U.S., and 7,500 grown around the world. Not all of these varieties are going to have the same nutritional value. Even ingredients like tomatillos, which date back to almost 800 BC, should be sourced from a reputable provider. Check to see where your favorite restaurants source their ingredients from, and opt for more natural and organic options whenever possible.
More From Your Meal
When you’re ordering your meal at a restaurant, remember that everything that comes with that entree counts towards what you’re having for that meal. That includes things like sides and drinks. Even if they don’t cost extra, that’s still more food you’ll end up eating. Order healthy drinks like water, tea, or juice with your meal, rather than sugary options like soda. You’ll feel just as full by the end of the meal while still making healthier selections.
Pick A Plan
Nowadays, just about every restaurant out there posts some or all of their menu online. Be sure to make use of this important resource before you head out for the night. That way, you’ll be less inclined to impulsively select an unhealthier menu option. Additionally, checking the menu online before you leave can help you make a restaurant selection that has healthy options for every type of dietary restriction you’ll need to account for. And if you’re one of the 50% of smartphone owners who use their phone as a primary source of internet, there’s no excuse not to plan in advance. Planning ahead can be one of the strongest tools you have in maintaining your healthy eating standards when you go out for the evening. This could save you financially, as well. Americans already spend almost $1,800 annually on new clothes. Imagine how much we spend eating out!
Eating healthy at restaurants doesn’t have to be a struggle. With enough planning ahead and mindfulness about what you’re choosing to eat, you can enjoy a nice dinner out while still meeting all of your personal health and dietary goals.