People eating in an outdoor cafe under a green umbrella.
Centr Team

How to eat out (and still stick to your meal plan)

Centr Team

Often one of the most challenging parts of sticking to a healthy meal plan is eating out. Temptations are everywhere in restaurants, but by no means should you be locking yourself away from the world, because that’s not sustainable (and it’ll just make you miserable). With the following tips in mind, you can still have a social life while staying on track with your meal plan.

Some cuisines are better than others

If it’s up to you to pick the restaurant, then choose somewhere that has options that are friendly for your waistline. Go easy on carb-laden Italian pasta (try the vegetable soups or grilled meats with salads) and the rich and creamy Indian curries (a dhal is a better choice). Thai or Vietnamese are great options, where you can pick a light, bright and spicy salad, or Greek, where you can embrace the Mediterranean diet with grilled lean meat and vegetables. Japanese is also a good choice with sashimi and grilled yakitori skewers making up the backbone of your meal, or maybe you’d like to venture out for some Israeli – plates of falafels with salads and hummus is a great meal to share with friends.

Tomato and cucumber salad, pita bread, hummus and falafal on a grey counter.

Be smart about what you order and be prepared to modify your meal

While you may be tempted by the pizza or the burger, steer yourself towards a selection that comprises mainly lean protein and vegetables. Or just think about the sort of meals you’re eating on the Centr meal plan and find what most closely replicates it.

Even if it seems like there aren’t any healthy options on the menu, you might be able to get a modified meal that suits your eating plan. Instead of fried fish and chips, ask for grilled fish and salad. Order the steak, but ask for veggies instead of fries and get the sauce on the side so you can limit the amount you use. With more and more people turning to vegetarianism, there’s often a vegetarian menu on offer which might have some healthy options, so don’t be afraid to ask to see it.

At the end of the evening, share a dessert with your friends or if you want to abstain, get into the habit of ordering a herbal tea to finish your meal instead.

Limit your alcohol

Of course, nobody is expecting you to turn your back on alcohol. Life is there to be lived! But limiting your intake on a night out is advisable. Alcohol can lessen your resolve. At the beginning of the night you may be making sound decisions about what you eat but as the evening wears on and the alcohol consumption increases, suddenly you’re saying “sure, why not, I’ll have waffles and souvlaki with fries on the way home.”

You’ll also be less likely to stick to your exercise goals if you’ve overindulged the night before.

Think about what you’re drinking, too. There are hidden carbohydrates in beer and a surprising amount of sugar in wine, so be smart about your order. Vodka with soda and fresh lime is a better option.

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