Nutrition plans and dining out don’t always coexist smoothly. But they can with a little bit of effort and planning. Kayla Newnam, Composition ID Houston’s Certified Dietician Nutritionist, reveals her top 4 tips for staying healthy while dining out in Houston.
“Are your weekends filled with date nights or evenings with friends and family? There’s nothing better than surrounding yourself with loved ones, especially after a long week.
The National Restaurant Association reported that in Texas alone an estimated 66 billion dollars were spent dining out in 2018 with over 48,000 restaurants to choose from! It’s no wonder a lot of weekends and “quality time” is spent around the dinner table.
We totally get it. We love exploring Houston and supporting local businesses — we always will. That’s why finding balance is key! Dining out can be a challenge when you are trying to make lifestyle changes.
Here are Composition ID’s top 4 tips dining out:
1. Split an entrée
One of the most challenging obstacles when dining out is “portion control.” We always hear about it and we know it’s what we should focus on, but it’s hard to walk the walk. So split an entrée with whomever you’re dining with so you can enjoy the meal without overindulging.
2. Change your perspective
The saddest moment is looking at a menu with the perspective of “I can’t have that” because of a rigid mindset. Take a more positive approach to dining out. Practice portion control (see #1 above!) or don’t be afraid to add and/or substitute ingredients. In fact, you’d be surprised at how many restaurants are open to suiting their customer’s dietary needs. Choose meals with whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein.
3. Take a sneak peek
You don’t have to know exactly what you are going to order, but it’s always good to have an idea of the options the restaurant provides. If you are tracking macros, this allows you to figure out the rest of your day according to what you plan on eating for that specific meal.
4. Enjoy yourself!
The last thing you should do is stress over your meal choices — especially when it becomes all-consuming or starts to take away from quality time spent with friends and family. Preparation and a positive mindset is always beneficial when dining out.
At Composition ID, we review restaurant menus that our clients frequent and provide recommendations. We also help clients develop a positive relationship with food and live a balanced life. If you need assistance or are interested in learning about our nutrition programs, contact us or book a complimentary 15-minute nutrition consultation.”