Nutrition

Keep It Simple: How to Apply the 80/20 Rule to Your Healthy Lifestyle Design

Keep It Simple: How to Apply the 80/20 Rule to Your Healthy Lifestyle Design

Are you tired of feeling guilty for “cheating” on your diet?

Does the guilt cause you then to overeat for several days afterward which sabotages some of your progress?

Are you looking for an easier way to manage your healthy lifestyle choices? So you can stay on track and finally meet (or maintain) your weight and fitness goals?

If so, then applying the 80/20 rule to your diet and exercise plans may be the right fit for you.

What Is the 80/20 Rule?

The 80/20 rule comes from the famous Pareto principle that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.  While this originally related to the distribution of wealth in Italy, it’s now being applied to other things, including healthy lifestyle choices.

By following the 80-20 rule, you will focus on eating well and exercising 80% of the time. For example, eating well and working out during the week and indulging (a bit) on the weekend. Or, if you tend to go out with your coworkers for lunch on Friday or out with your friends on Friday night, perhaps your indulging days could be Friday and Saturday. The choice is yours.

In short, it doesn’t matter which times/meals you choose to have as your 20% indulging time, you need to keep it under 20% of the time.

What Can You Eat Following the 80-20 Rule?

For the majority (80%) of the time, you should focus on eating healthy, nutritious foods.

This includes a low-calorie breakfast, packed with protein and fiber to keep you full longer and fight off the desire to snack (or eat those bagels one of your coworkers loves to bring to the office). By limiting your calories at breakfast, you start your day off on the right foot.

Lunch and dinner options can vary widely depending on your personal preferences. Focus on whole foods that offer a variety of nutrients: lean proteins, whole grains, and veggies and fruits chosen from the colors of the rainbow.

For snacks, choose foods like nuts, yogurt, fruits or veggies with hummus or salsa.

During your 20% “indulging” time, try to choose things you really enjoy. Don’t grab the first sweet or salty snack that comes your way. Make it something you have been craving all week or that you don’t want to live without.

Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you get to eat an entire pizza or a whole pint of ice cream.

While following the 80/20 rule, as with any dietary plan, practicing portion control is a key factor for success.

How Much Exercise Do You Need to Do?

The experts say the average adult should do 2 1/2 hours of moderate activity per week and do muscle-building exercises at least 2 days per week.

This equates to a minimum of a half-hour each day (Monday through Friday) and a weight training session two days a week.

Or, if you prefer or your schedule doesn’t allow time every workday, you can add some time to your workouts and cut the sessions down to a few days per week.

How you choose to get your half-hour of “moderate activity” is up to you.

Walking at a rate where you are breathing harder than normal but can still talk well enough to keep up a conversation works fine.

Of course, biking, rollerskating, dancing, running, or any other kind of physical activity you enjoy works just fine, too!

Many may find keeping an exercise log beneficial in making sure they get the right amount of each type of exercise each week.

You just need to get moving. Your heart and body will thank you!

Give the 80/20 Rule a Try

Try following the 80-20 rule diet for a few weeks and see how great you’ll feel. Say goodbye to guilt and not having flexibility in your healthy lifestyle choices. Losing weight and staying fit doesn’t have to be complicated.

The right mindset doesn’t hurt either. For more about that, here’s a podcast about how to maintain the right mindset to succeed following the 80/20 rule.

Intermittent Fasting: A Beginner’s Guide to the Fasting Diet

Intermittent Fasting: A Beginner’s Guide to the Fasting Diet

Fasting is something that’s played a key role in virtually all of the world’s major religions and dates back millions of years. Today, though, while fasting is still observed for many religious purposes, it’s become a new lifestyle that helps individuals lose weight, have more energy, and fight disease.

While fasting isn’t a new concept, intermittent fasting is something that has emerged in the past few years. It has gained popularity due to the incredible benefits it offers against signs of aging and disease.

Keep reading to learn about intermittent fasting and why this may want to be a lifestyle change you make.

Understanding Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a process that involves cycling in and out of periods where you eat and don’t eat. While people do experience (often significant) weight loss with this eating schedule, it’s not as much of a diet plan as it is a lifestyle choice that provides a wide array of health benefits.

There are several methods used with intermittent fasting. These include:

The 5:2 Method

This is the method that allows you to eat normally for five days a week. The two days after are for fasting, but you still eat. The goal is to keep calorie intake on this day between 500 and 600.

The Eat-Stop-Eat Method

This method is a bit different. With this, you restrict all food for a period of 24 hours. This is repeated two to three times per week.

The 16/8 Method

Here, you consume all your daily calories within a shortened period of time. In most cases, you eat in a period of six to eight hours.

The remaining 14 to 16 hours during the day, you fast. This is the method that can be done daily, or several times a week.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

When you switch to intermittent fasting, it will expand your limits while boosting your performance in several ways. Some of the specific benefits offered by this way of eating include:

  • Increase energy
  • Reduce bad cholesterol
  • Protect against various neurodegenerative diseases
  • Boost weight loss
  • Promote longevity
  • Reduce insulin resistance
  • Promote cellular repair

As you can see, the benefits are vast. As a result, this may be something you should consider trying.

Tips to Make the Most of Intermittent Fasting

While not eating for specific amounts of time alone offers health benefits, if you want to make the most of this lifestyle choice, there are a few other tips you need to use.

It can’t be a free-for-all when you do eat, as this is going to negate many of the benefits this way of eating offers. Some additional tips include:

  • Avoid refined grains and sugars (choose low-carb snacks when possible)
  • Don’t snack between meals
  • Remain active
  • Avoid snacking or eating in the evening and at night

By using these tips, the results of your intermittent fasting will be much more evident.

Be Healthier and Happier with Intermittent Fasting

As you can see, there are several options to consider if you are interested in intermittent fasting. As a result, you aren’t going to feel as deprived or hungry while following this way of eating.

Do you want to make a change to be healthier and happier? If so, let us help! Contact us to learn more about our nine-week challenge.

10 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight and How to Fix Them

10 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight and How to Fix Them

Over half of Americans say they’re trying to lose weight. It can often feel like you’re doing everything right, but you’re not losing weight.

You’ve tried the most recent fad diet and committed to a rigorous exercise regime, but the pounds aren’t shifting.

The answer has to be somewhere. Don’t give up just yet!

Instead, find out why losing weight is hard and what you can do to fix it. Check it out below!

1. Not Getting Enough Protein

If you’re having a hard time losing weight, then you could still be eating the wrong things.

Even if you’ve reduced your overall consumption, you might need to increase your protein intake. You want to lose fat, not muscle.

People who eat a protein-rich diet (between 15 and 25% of overall calories) store nearly 50% of excess calories as muscle rather than fat. If your diet consists of only 5% proteins, then 95% of your excess calories are stored as fat, not muscle.

So make sure you’re eating plenty of eggs, lean meats, and legumes in your diet.

2. Dehydration

Apparently, 80% of working Americans don’t drink enough water on a regular basis. You may be eating great, but are you drinking enough water?

After all, up to 65% of the human body is made up of water. It’s essential to the healthy functioning of your body.

However, it’s also really important when it comes to weight loss. High water consumption can even improve your metabolism by up to 30%.

3. High-Stress Levels

We’re stressed!

It could be about our country’s future. Our personal finances. Or about work.

If you’re trying to lose weight, then high-stress levels are really not helping. There is a correlation between high stress and larger weight lines, according to studies.

You can either get started with mindful meditation, which has been shown to reduce mental stress and anxiety. Or you may need to make some drastic decisions about your work and home life. Either way, your stressful life could be responsible for not losing weight with diet and exercise.

4. You’re Click Happy

We quickly moving toward a cashless society. However, this could have some significant consequences for people trying to lose weight.

Studies have shown that people who use credit cards to pay for groceries online are more likely to make unhealthy purchases. Therefore, if you think you’re guilty of being “click happy” with your credit card, then it’s time to switch back to the green stuff.

5. Missing Out On Sleep

You may have trouble losing weight because you’re not getting enough sleep.

According to research, not enough sleep is one of the biggest risk factors for developing obesity. Therefore, the fact that more than one-third of Americans don’t get enough sleep is worrying.

If you want better sleep, you may need to consider when the best time to do exercise is to optimize your shut-eye. Or how you set a regular bedtime and wake-up time to improve your sleep patterns.

6. Lack of Vegetables and Fruits

Do you only ever buy food which has nutritional information on the label?

You don’t need to only purchase groceries which are labeled “low fat” or “no added sugar.”

Instead, why not purchase whole foods which don’t have any labels at all. Most importantly, you need to be eating fresh fruit and vegetables to lose weight.

By eating fresh fruit and veggies you can also maintain your healthy diet after you’ve achieved your weight loss goal.

7. Overeating

Do you ever think – “It’s healthy! I can eat as much of this as I want.” This is a dangerous game to play.

It’s also possible to overeat low-calorie and so-called “healthy” foods. Simply put, if you’re consuming calories that you’re not burning off, then you’re overeating.

Eating fruit can be essential to feed your cravings if you’re cutting out candy and chocolate. But, you can also eat too much of this good stuff too.

8. Drinking Calories

It’s so easy to concentrate too much on what you’re eating and forget that your drinks count as calories too.

If you often find yourself drinking lattes and smoothies instead of water, then you need to count those calories as well.

Although your regular black coffee doesn’t contain many calories, lattes and other milky coffee drinks do. Even a latte without sugar and low-fat milk contains up to 150 calories. However, if you’re choosing to add syrups and whole milk, you could be going over 400 calories.

When you consume sweet drinks, this also triggers your cravings for more food. So, you’re making it harder for yourself.

9. You’re Hungry

If you want to lose weight, you’re probably going to reduce the number of calories you are consuming. You can always go too far!

If you reduce your calories too much and too quickly, you could starve yourself. This slows down your metabolism so you can’t lose weight as easily.

If you’re eating less than 400 calories, your body could stop functioning normally. Your stress levels will increase and your thyroid hormones breakdown.

10. Run Don’t Walk

Even though any physical activity can contribute to a healthy lifestyle, if you want to lose weight, you need to do more than just walking.

Low-intensity workouts, such as walking with friends in the park, can be great, but you need to go up a gear as well.

You need to do moderate-intensity exercises if you want the pounds to fall off you. These include jogging, swimming, and cycling.

Why You’re Not Losing Weight

When you’re not losing weight with diet and exercise, it can be hard to stay motivated to achieve your weight loss goal. However, there are numerous reasons why you’re having a hard time losing weight.

Now you know what mistakes you need to watch out. It’s time to fix them and get back on track.

Do you want to find out more about how we can help you overcome your setback? Check out our 9-week challenge here!

No More Post-Baby Bump: 14 Tips to Help Busy Moms Lose Baby Weight

No More Post-Baby Bump:

14 Tips to Help Busy Moms Lose Baby Weight

As much as you love your new baby, you may not love the body that’s left behind. It can be manageable to lose baby weight with these great tips.

Did you know that it takes most women 3 years to get their confidence back after having a baby?

Although our bodies are incredible and can grow humans in 9 months, it takes time for your body to return to its pre-pregnancy shape.

If you want to learn how to shed fat and keep it off as a new mom, here are 14 tips to lose baby weight permanently.

1. If You Can Breastfeed, Do It!

One of the most effective postpartum weight loss tips is to breastfeed your child.

The reason why breastfeeding helps you lose weight is that your body uses fat reserves to help produce milk. Your body is also more efficient at burning the calories you eat every day.

Do keep in mind that breastfeeding mothers need to keep their energy up, which is why you should never diet after giving birth. The desire to shed your pregnancy weight may be high, but you and your baby’s health should always come first.

Some women naturally don’t produce enough milk for their children or they prefer to bottle feed. If you can’t breastfeed, don’t fret. There are still plenty of other things you can do to fuel your weight loss efforts.

2. Don’t Forget to Stay Hydrated

Losing weight after pregnancy can be as simple as remembering to drink enough water. This tip works well for anyone looking to shed fat.

There are plenty of reasons why drinking more helps you stay slim. Since our bodies are mostly made out of the water, we need to replenish our reserves every day. If you don’t drink enough, you’ll retain water and feel sluggish.

Drinking water also helps curb your appetite. If your someone who has a hard time knowing when you’re full, drinking plenty of water before and during mealtimes will help prevent you from overeating.

Did you know that our bodies’ thirst and hunger signals are the same? This means your stomach growls could be your body asking for water. A good method to live by is to drink a glass of water whenever you think you feel hungry. If you still feel hungry 20 minutes later, then you know you’re experiencing true hunger and not thirst.

Drinking also helps us eliminate waste easier. The less backed-up your system is, the slimmer you’ll feel.

3. Lose Baby Weight by Exercising Smarter, Not Longer

Lots of people have been brainwashed into believing that logging more hours at the gym leads to more success. While some people may thrive in a gym setting, most of us would rather stay in bed.

The best way to stick to an exercise routine is to find a setting, workout, and timeframe that suits you best.

One tip that all moms should know is that you can exercise for 10 minutes and get the same results as someone else who exercises for an hour. The key to losing weight and toning muscle isn’t how long you sweat, but how effective your sessions are.

If you can pour all of your energy into an intense 10-minute workout, you’ll make progress. This method is much more effective for your goals and happiness than sluggishly pedaling on a stationary bike for an hour while feeling miserable.

4. Take Your Baby for a Walk Every Day

Walking is incredible for weight loss and overall physical and mental health. The best part is that you can also bond with your baby. Even if you don’t break a sweat while you walk, you’re still burning calories and toning your muscles.

This is a great opportunity to get out of the house so you don’t feel stir-crazy at home with your baby. If you know any other moms, invite them to go walking with you. You can have a fitness buddy who can hold you accountable to your goals and help you pass the time with fun conversation.

5. Make Sleep a Priority

Sleeping your fat away sounds too good to be true, but it’s one of the best ways to maintain a healthy weight.

The reason why sleep deprivation leads to weight gain is that our bodies turn to eat more calories to make up for the lost energy. When we’re tired, we tend to reach for comfort foods full of fats and sugars to feel better.

Sleep also helps fuel workouts. If you’re too tired, exercising will feel like an impossible challenge.

Do you have willpower made out of steel? Even if you can resist junk food and stick to your workout routine, your body is still plotting against your weight loss efforts.

One night of sleep deprivation is enough to trigger the release of ghrelin, a hormone that revs our appetite. Excess calories that come from healthy sources still turn into a fat gain.

6. Meal Prep Once a Week to Make Cooking Easier

Cooking at home is the best way to save money and skip unnecessary calories, sugars, and fats. When you’re the chef, you control how much you eat and the quality of your ingredients.

However, all new moms know how challenging it is to find any time that isn’t devoted to caring for their babies. This is why batch cooking is the perfect method for your weight loss.

If you can get help from your partner or another loved one, dedicating a few hours once a week to batch cooking is easy.

During this time, you can make a big pot of brown rice, quinoa, or other healthy whole grains. You can also bake a pack of chicken breasts or another source of lean protein. Wash and chop all your veggies so they’re ready to eat raw or cook in a flash.

Once your prep work is done, all you have to do is reheat your food and season it to create a new dish for meals during the week. Check out these batch cooking recipes that take no time to make.

7. Join a Weight Loss Program That Does the Planning

Most new moms are exhausted, battle mental fog, and have no time for themselves. Losing weight fast requires lots of planning.

If you want to make life easier, join a weight loss program that has a tried-and-true method for fat loss.

All of your meals and calories will be customized for your unique body type and fitness goals so you don’t have to think. You can also have access to personal coaches and a community of other people in the program who are there to motivate each other and share tips.

These programs are more effective than solo-dieting because all the details are hammered out to a science. There’s no guesswork at mealtimes and the ease of cooking makes it easier to stick to the plan.

8. Eat More Plant-Based Meals

If it comes out of the earth, it’s good to eat! Plants are the best health foods because they are low in calories but high in nutrients your body needs.

Meat is linked to excess body fat and illnesses. The reason why meat and other animal products can sabotage your weight loss efforts is saturated fats and cholesterol.

The more plant-based you can eat, the better. If you’re up to the challenge, you can even try going vegan for a month. Veganism is one of the most popular weight loss lifestyles because you can eat a lot of wholesome foods with fewer calories.

9. Don’t Skip Breakfast or Starve Yourself

Thanks to fad dieting, most people’s first instinct to lose weight is to skip meals or starve themselves. While you can get fast results, you’ll feel miserable. As soon as you start eating again, you’ll put all the weight back on and then some.

In fact, yo-yo dieting is much more dangerous for your health than maintaining a steady BMI. Instead of passing on breakfast, start your day right with a smoothie filled with fresh greens or a hearty bowl of oatmeal with enough fiber and protein to keep you full until lunch.

10. Reward Yourself in Moderation

Did you know that some studies have revealed that cheat meals or cheat days can yield more fat loss than strict dieters?

The reason why treating yourself works is that it gives you something to look forward to after a week of eating healthy. This incentive will help you stay on track.

People who remove all of their favorite foods from their diets are also more likely to binge. Once people binge, they may decide to quit altogether because they think all their efforts have been lost.

Letting the lion out of the cage for a short time each week will help you feel satisfied. Besides, eating more calories one day revs your metabolism so you can continue burning more the next day.

11. Eat Healthy, High Volume Snacks

Have you ever tried eating snacks designed for dieters and felt ravenous 30 minutes later? Although these treats are healthier than other junk food, they’re not substantial.

The best way to fill up is to eat nutrient-dense foods that pack a lot of volume for not a lot of calories.

Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of fuel. Check out these no-cook snack recipes that include treats like banana ice cream and sweet potato hummus. If you want a heartier snack, you can dip apple slices in a nut butter of your choice to get a dose of healthy fats.

12. Manage Your Stress and Care for Your Mental Health

Yoga is one of the best exercises that everyone should try. It combines cardio, muscle toning, stretching, and meditation. You can even reap the health benefits by doing it only 5 minutes a day.

Raising a child is one of the most stressful things people can do. Stress turns our bodies into effective fat storing machines. Finding ways to cope with any negative emotions is crucial for your health.

Although yoga is a great place to start, some people can’t stand it. Just because one exercise works for one person, it doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy it. Take some time to experiment with different outlets to find your happy place.

Exercise always makes you feel better because of endorphins, but you can manage your stress in other ways, too. Painting, knitting, scrapbooking, and writing are just a few of the hundreds of different activities you could try.

13. Strength Training

Many women are afraid of lifting weights because they don’t want to get bulky muscles like men. However, it’s impossible for females to pile on muscle with casual weightlifting.

Strength training is ideal for new moms because it involves lifting light weights for extended repetitions. This will help tone your muscles and burn fat for a sexy, sculpted look.

You don’t need a gym membership to strength train, either. Try these at-home workouts that utilize your body weight to help you shape up.

14. Be Patient and Kind to Yourself

The most valuable lesson all women need to learn is self-love. Your body can do unbelievable things and you should be proud of it.

Making a baby takes 9 months. During this time, your organs shift, your abdominals split apart, and your pelvis opens to make room for another human being.

Every mom cherishes those 9 months of beautiful change. After you give birth, you should have the same patience and acceptance of your body as you did while you were pregnant.

Remember how long it took your body to come to its current size and give yourself the same amount of time to shrink down. Celebrities who boast about their bodies a couple months after giving birth have a team of personal trainers, chefs, and designers to make them look their best.

The happier you are with yourself, the more likely you are to stick with your goals. Always strive to be the best version of yourself, but never stop loving yourself along the journey.

Ready to Transform Your Body?

The best way to lose baby weight and keep it off is by committing to easy lifestyle changes. When it comes to shedding fat, even the smallest habits can add up.

If you want guaranteed results within a couple months, then Body Transformation Coach would love to help you get the body of your dreams the healthy way. Contact us for more information on why our program works and how we can help revolutionize your health.

Healthy and Happy: 20 Tips for Eating Healthy at Restaurants

Healthy and Happy: 20 Tips for Eating Healthy at Restaurants

Forget the rumors! You CAN get healthy without sacrificing your social life. The next time you’re at a restaurant, try these tips for eating healthy.

Everybody loves to eat out. In fact, 19 million people in the U.S. visited full-service restaurants in 2015. But when you’re trying to eat healthily, restaurants are taboo.

Whether you’re dining out with friends, on a romantic date, or during a business meeting, there are times you can’t avoid the dreaded restaurant!

Having an indulgent meal every now and again is no sin. But when it becomes a habit, you need to take action.

There are ways to eat delicious, healthy meals at restaurants without throwing a calorie bomb into your diet. To do it, you need a smart game plan. Read on to find out 20 tips for eating healthy.

Be Prepared

The Scout motto is “be prepared.” If you’re prepared with a game plan, you’ll be able to make your restaurant trip a success.

Check out the next five tips for finding the healthiest restaurants.

1. Do Your Homework

One of the best tips for eating healthy is to choose a restaurant in advance. Since most venues post their menus online, it’s easy to find the best ones to visit and the ones to avoid.

If they offer a lot of fatty foods on their menu that could be a temptation, skip it and go somewhere else. Search for healthy food restaurants on Google, and you might find some health-oriented places to eat.

When you’re looking for healthy dishes at restaurants, many ethnic food eateries are a great option. For instance, Japanese, Thai, Greek, or Indian. It’s a lot easier to eat clean at one of these venues compared to an Italian or Mexican restaurant.

2. The Right Vibe

Picking healthy dishes at restaurants isn’t enough. You also have to choose a place with the right atmosphere.

Listen to the music. Restaurants that have loud hectic music make you eat to the beat. If the music is softer and slower, you’ll spend more time at the table, but eat less.

The same applies to color. Restaurant decor can either stimulate you to eat more or calm your mind so you can have a relaxed experience.

For instance, the colors red, orange, and yellow will spur you to order more. Soft blue, gray, and peach, on the other hand, will create a relaxed ambiance.

3. Book in Advance

When you’re waiting for a table at a restaurant, you’ll only get hungrier and hungrier. When you finally sit down, you’ll devour all the table bread and give up on your diet for the night.

The solution is simple. Book healthy restaurants in advance – and you won’t have time to get hungry.

4. Be Wise in Your Seat Choice

When choosing where to sit in a restaurant, most people avoid the area around the bathroom. But an even more dangerous place to sit is near the kitchen.

It’s one thing to see the lip-smacking descriptions on the menu. But to see them coming out from the kitchen and smell the delicious aromas is way too much of a temptation, especially when you’re hungry.

Another tip is to choose a seat near or opposite a mirror. It might sound strange, but it’s backed up by research. Scientists have found that if you watch yourself in a mirror while eating unhealthy foods, they seem less tasty.

5. Eyes Too Big for Your Belly

According to research, people are bad at estimating how much a portion size should be. This means that on any given day, we’re probably eating more than we should.

So, whatever you do, avoid all you can eat restaurants. It’s way too tempting. Plus, these restaurants often have a no waste policy – if you’ve put it on your plate, you must eat it.

If a buffet is the only option, try using a smaller plate. Or fill half of a normal sized plate with veggies before you start snacking on goodies.

You Are What You Eat

You’ve found a healthy restaurant, now it’s time to choose your meal. This is the toughest part. But you can do it if you follow these tips.

6. Know Your Menu

Do your homework and take a peek at the menu before you go. Pre-planning your meal will make life a lot easier for you and help you to avoid temptation.

Restaurants sugar coat the words in their menu so that you don’t know exactly what you’re getting. But once you’ve got down with the lingo, you’ll be able to figure out what menu options to avoid.

For instance, anything that is Alfredo, creamed, buttery, or scalloped. Also, anything smothered, pan-fried, crispy, breaded or dipped is a big no-no.

The same applies to meats. Some cuts of meat are fattier than others. Skinless chicken breast, for example, is leaner than chicken thighs or legs.

Healthy dishes at restaurants feature compelling descriptions, such as grilled, baked, steamed, or roasted. Also, anything braised, seared, or broiled is good. These are the healthy keywords to look out for.

7. Watch Out for “Healthy” Labels

When browsing the menu, you’ll see dietary labels like paleo, sugar-free, or gluten-free. You might assume that these would make the meal a healthy choice, but that’s not always the case.

To make the food tasty, restaurants often add hidden added sugars and fats. For instance, if you eat a vegan cake, you may think it’s healthier. But they usually swap the eggs for a ton of oil, which is anything but healthy.

8. Meats and Fish

When choosing healthy dishes at restaurants, you don’t have to opt for a simple salad. Meat and fish will help you feel satisfied without filling up on carbs.

Lean meats, such as flank steak or chicken breast, are full of protein. Fish is also a healthy option as long as it’s not fried. It’s harder to overeat proteins than it is to overindulge in carbs.

9. Load Up with a Salad

Salads can be one of the most healthy dishes at restaurants. But there are sometimes hidden calories. For instance, nuts, croutons, cheese, dried fruit, grains, and fancy salad dressing can add hundreds of salads to your meal.

Don’t force yourself to only eat lettuce as you’ll be hungry again in half an hour. Make sure you’re getting some protein in your salad.

10. Double Trouble

The veggie portions in most meals are often very small. So when you order, ask for double vegetables.

If you want to add a little extra zest to your meal, why not ask for a fruit side? Superfoods like blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries can add some zing to your meal without a lot of extra sugar.

11. Don’t Be Shy

Don’t be shy to ask your waiter about the preparation of the food. If you find it out that it’s cooked with a lot of butter and salt, ask for them to prepare it without.

You might feel embarrassed asking, but that’s what your waiter is there for. Ask them what any unfamiliar words mean or ask their opinion on what the healthiest thing on the menu is. They may be able to make some great suggestions.

12. Sharing Is Caring

A sneaky way to keep portions realistic is to split your dish with a friend. This may give you the chance to try a little bit of everything without overdoing it.

You could even order a couple of appetizers as a main meal.

13. Get Saucy

Even if you order a healthy looking menu option, they may smother it with sauces and butter. It may end up being just as unhealthy as that double trouble cheeseburger you had your eye on.

Ask them to prepare your food without the butter and dressings, but to have them as a side instead.

Instead of dousing your meal with the sauce, try the fork-dip method. Dip your fork into the creamy side, then load it up with veggies. This way, you can get the taste without overindulging.

14. Skip Empty Calories

You may have ordered the healthiest dish in the restaurant, but it won’t matter if you stuff yourself with bread before the meal arrives. If it’s too tempting, ask the waiter to take it away.

Another empty calorie culprit is sweet alcoholic drinks or sodas. Avoid cocktails at all costs. They will load you up with sugar, use up all your calories, and you’ll still feel hungry afterward.

If you need an alcoholic drink, opt for a vodka and tonic or a glass of wine instead.

15. The Proof Is in the Pudding

Deserts are a no-no! Even a small piece of cake can add 400 calories or more to your meticulously planned meal. Just say no, kids!

If you have a sweet tooth, why not try sharing a dessert instead? Ask for some fruit, such as berries. Or grab some frozen yogurt on the way home as a low-calorie option.

Let’s Eat!

Now you’ve picked the right healthy food restaurant with the perfect ambiance, and you’ve chosen the healthiest item on the menu. What next?

The next part is the eating! Don’t let this final hurdle trip you up. Follow the next five tips.

16. Box It Up

Up to 94 percent of restaurant meals contain 600 calories or more. That’s because even if the meal is “healthy,” the portion is way too big.

Instead of asking them to box up the leftovers, try asking them to box up half the meal before you even begin. This will keep you from overeating. It will also save you money as you can eat it for your dinner the next day.

It might look a little odd to others, but it’s a smart move for eating healthy at restaurants.

17. Keep Calm, Drink Water

Drinking water can help control your eating and ward off hunger.

This habit makes it easier for you to slow down during a meal. You’ll not only enjoy the food more, but it’ll give your stomach the chance to tell your brain it’s full before you overeat.

Some struggle with the bland taste of water, especially if they’ve got used to drinking alcohol or sugary drinks. Ask for a slice of lemon or lime to improve the taste.

18. Slow Down There

Once you’ve got your plate in front of you, it can be tempting to gobble it down. But eating quickly leads to overeating. This is because your stomach doesn’t have the chance to tell you it’s full.

Try putting down your utensils between each bite. This will give you the chance to savor each mouthful. It will also help gauge your hunger levels before you stuff yourself.

19. Don’t Compare

Keep your eyes on your own meal. Don’t compare what you’ve ordered with your friend’s dinner. We all have different nutritional needs – comparing won’t help anyone.

It’s also handy to have this mindset before ordering. Try to be the first to order. This will stop you from having an “Oh, that sounds delicious, I’ll have the same” moment.

20. A Happy Ending

When you’re finished your meal, pop a mint into your mouth. The mint will help clear your palette. This will discourage you from taking any more sneaky bites of your meal or anyone else’s leftovers.

If what’s left on your plate is tempting even after you’re full, try one of these tricks. Use a napkin to cover the alluring leftovers. Or drown it in salt so that it becomes inedible.

Plan to finish off the night with light activity, such as an evening stroll or a little dancing. You’ll not feel like ordering something too heavy as it will make you feel sluggish for your activity.

Tips for Eating Healthy and More

If you follow these tips for eating healthy, you can enjoy your restaurant experience without the guilt trip afterward.

Of course, you should try to eat healthy foods at all times. And diet goes hand in hand with an exercise regime.

Our nine-week program combines diet and exercise to transform your look. If you want to turn heads for the right reasons, find out more here.

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