Eating out can be challenging when you're trying to stick to your diet. Luckily, we have some expert tips to help you sniff out the healthiest items on the menu at your favourite restaurant. With the help of our Wellness Team, we present to you the smartest ways for you to choose food that is good for you.

Dieting can be tricky, especially when you aren’t equipped with the proper information and tips on how to stick to eating foods that are healthy for you. It’s easier when you’re cooking your own food, preparing your own meals and have control over what you’re making for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But, you’ll inevitably, at some point, eat out at a restaurant, and then it becomes painfully difficult to stick to your diet.

Why?

Both restaurants and stores add ingredients to food (and use preparation methods) that will certainly make it taste better. However, these are often counterproductive to your diet, thus affecting your weight loss journey or any other healthy eating goals you have.

That’s why we’ve put together some tips to help you stay on track.

How to choose a healthy meal at a restaurant

Whether you are looking to lose weight, build muscle or just be as healthy as possible, making healthy food choices when eating out can become a bit daunting. Also, restaurants also have a tendency to present you foods that look healthy on the face of it, but if you know what to look for you’ll find that your meal isn’t as healthy as you first thought. Sneaky!

Tips for eating out healthily

DNAFit’s Fit Food Friday

 At DNAFit we have incorporated an initiative named Fit Food Friday that happens once a week. Our dietitians select a different menu every Friday and indicate the healthiest food choices. In addition to this, each menu item will receive a health score. This was created to assist employees in making the healthiest food choice. We encourage our employees to go for the lowest score possible.

To determine the health score, each menu item is picked apart and each component will receive either a positive or negative score.

The scoring system used looks as follows:

For the healthiest menu items, aim for a score of 3 or less.

So, say you were ordering a roast chicken salad with lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber, bell peppers, avocado, honey glazed pecan nuts and a honey lemon glazed dressing. You would break it up and score it as follows:

Adopting this scoring system and applying it on a daily basis can assist you to make the healthiest food choices possible and will make you think twice when doing your monthly shopping.

List of go-to, low calorie healthy ingredients

Whether you’re selecting a meal in a restaurant or purchasing items at the store, it is always important to note which foods have the lowest calories while being the healthiest option. Below you will find a list of foods that fit into this category:

List of starchy vs. non-starchy vegetables

Vegetables are an essential part of every single person’s diet and are packed with nutrients that keep us healthy. However, if you want to aim at eating vegetables that are less starchy than others then you can refer to lists below to see which foods you should be adding to your plate, and which ones you should try to eat less of.

Starchy vegetables

Non-starchy vegetables

And there you have it. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be a chore and is actually fun when you know which foods to avoid and which ones to eat. Once you have the know-how as stated above you will then be able to experiment with different foods and create tasty meals you can eat every single day.

Knowing this will also help to inform your food choices the next time you’re eating out. Not only this, but you’ll look like a healthy food genius, dispelling your friends’ myths and assumptions about what foods and meals are healthy at will and helping everyone around you to live a healthier life.

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