FEELING GREAT: Sticking to healthier choices

Christmas and New Year's Eve now seem far behind us. And if like many people you've made a New Year resolution to shift a few pounds, or just choose healthier choices in general '“ eating can be a challenge.

Thursday, 19th January 2017, 12:15 pm

And even though eating out at restaurants is usually blamed as a culprit for making it harder to make healthy choices and stick to our new eating habits – you can still have your cake and eat it too.

It starts with restaurant selection – making healthy choices starts with where you’re eating. Menus from American, Italian and Chinese restaurants tend to heave the least healthiest options. When deciding where to go for dinner, opt for cuisines centred around whole grains, veggies, good fats and lean protein (Greek, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Indian and Japanese), and you’ll have a more nutritious meal.

Also consider eating out at places with menus that change seasonally, as this means they’re likely to cook up fresh, seasonal, local produce. Not only does that make for more veg-heavy meals, but you’ll also notice how much better the food tastes too.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

But what if your partner and friends don’t want to go to one of those restaurants? Well, there’s a solution for that. Think leftovers.

If the Italian restaurant in the town is the only place your friends want to go, you don’t have to just order the salad.

While portion sizes have grown over the years that doesn’t mean you have to skip past the meal you’ve been eyeing up on the menu. Instead take advantage of the bigger portion sizes, and order what you want with the mind set that half of it will come home with you.

The next piece of advice I want to give you is this, even if you’re going out for an evening meal, eat all day long as you usually would.

Your body isn’t balanced when you’re hungry, and skipping meals to make up for a big one can cause all sorts of havoc with the body – including storing MORE weight.

So aim to eat a filling, healthy breakfast, a light lunch and some healthy snacks. It’ll be easier to resist more indulgence if you do.

Another thing, you know that bread basket a lot of restaurants bring out while you’re deciding on what to order that’s always tempting? You don’t need it.

And one more tip, if you want your food cooked a certain way to make it healthier, most of the time you can! Don’t be afraid to put in a special request. Instead of my chicken fried, I sometimes ask for it to be grilled or roasted. Most places are willing to adapt their meals to suit your taste.

It’s amazing how much power we have as diners that we never realise we can use.

So there you have it, simple ways to make eating out healthier and enjoyable at the same time. Sticking to a healthy diet doesn’t mean you have to avoid dining out and say no to plans.

It’s all about making different choices, and enjoying the food we put in our mouths.

Restrictions will only make it harder in the long-run, and make it more likely for you to sway off track.

Here’s to sticking to healthier choices.

For more ways on how to stick to healthy habits and create new ones, click here to get your copy of Paul’s book, The Healthy Habit: www.thehealthyhabitbook.com