Eating out: breakfast, fast-food and dinner
This post is also available in: Français (French)
Don’t you love eating out? I love it. And I sure don’t want to deprive myself and avoid having a social life because I love eating healthy. Nowadays, many options are on the menu.
We love having breakfast at the restaurant with the kids. It’s festive. If possible, I try to go for brunch, closer to lunch time. My little escapade becomes lunch and my calorie intake is therefore better positionned in my day. IT makes my life easier and allows me to avoid starving at 2 pm. That’s just me! I don’t like skipping meals or fasting.
Here are my goto’s.
I often go the eggwhite omelette. You can question the employee: many restaurants put up to 5 eggs (350 calories) in their omelettes. Try to avoid the meat lover omelette as it contains lots of red meat and fat. I love to have the vegetarian or western omelette. The western omelette doesn’t contain cheese, is pimped with ham and is also full of veggies. I replace potatoes with tomatoes and fruits.
The classic plate… my way
You can choose the traditionnal 2 eggs and 1 meat plate and modify it. Poched Eggs are great (140 calories for both), ham (60 à 150 calories) and an unbutterered english muffin (130 calories). Swap the potatoes for tomatoes (20 calories). Than enjoy some peanut butter and jam on your english muffin (1 container is 50 calories).
Other alternatives on the menu
- I love smoked salmon Eggs Benedict. I leave the sauce aside as I don’t like it. Watch out, it’s very fat. Here again, I swap the potatoes.
- The vegetarian or ham crepes are also interesting. See if they are topped with a sauce, it makes a huge difference in the calorie intake. You may have it aside to dose it yourself. You may also enjoy the crepe as it is, filled with melted cheese. Ask for sauces and dressings on the side to dose them yourself.
- Beware of fruit bowls and yogourts topped with granola , they are often very high in calories because restaurants don’t use low fat yogourts and often add custard base. They are not healthy like those you make at home. But you may have them anyway, they’re delicious! Just dare to ask what yogourt is used and if they add any custard or sweeneted cream to the mix. Granola is delish, but remember it’s high in calories. Yogourt bowls often come with the granola topping, lots of fruits AND a bagel. Bagels contain between 190 and 230 calories. It is sometimes easier to resist when you ask the waiter not to put the bagel in the plate! Fruits are good for you, but they’ll you lots of sugar on their own. No need for the extra bagel. It’s good to know these healthy looking meals can be sugar bombs.
2) Fast-Food and drive throughs
Are you in a hurry or having lunch with colleagues? Time for fast-food? If it’s possible, go for Subway (6 inch ham or turykey italian bread and onion sauce is a good choice. Their salads are also good and fresh. Some restaurants even have the vegetarian patty. Did you know most restaurants publish nutrition facts on their website? Have a look in advance and plan your meal choice. You won’t make the wrong choice because you’re in a hurry or starving.
I’m not a huge McDonald’s fan, but I do love their vanilla ice cream cone! Usually, nutrition facts make me furious. Tiny wraps may loom healthy, but they are super high in calories and they’re not filling! Why not choose a happy meal and have a healthy snack later on in the afternoon? Like a protein bar for instance. They do have salads, but I don’t think they’re tasty at all. In smaller local restaurants, I usually go for a vegetarian burger with a salad.
Often on the road? Read my article “Fast-food on the road – my 4 tips to stay on target”
3) Lunch or dinner
You think a meal salad is the right choice? Not always true, unfortunately! Avoid creamy dressings such as cesar or ranch. Balsamic dressing is usually a good choice. Here again, dose it yourseld, ask for it aside.
Tartars are a good choice when eating out. I personally love salmon. They taste great and come in convenient portions. Therefore, you may enjoy a small frie or swap it for a salad and enjoy wine and dessert! When you know you are avoiding something in order to enjoy something else, it’s easier to apply!
When eating out, you have to treat yourself and let go of certain habits. It’s a matter of balance. Are you eating out with your lover on a saturday night or just having a week lunch with coworkers? Meanwhile, if you do want to apply very high health standards when eating out, you must choose meals that contain easy to identify components. That don’t contain lots of cheese or unknown sauce or dressing. Grilled fish or chicken with vegetables, a high-protein salad or fajitas are good examples.