So, you’ve just arrived at lovely Cabarete in the Dominican Republic, fully intending to make the most of the eXtreme Fitness Camp and return home renewed! When you are at the hotel, all is well. The food is tasty and healthy, even homegrown and organic. They even have their very own Taino Organic Farm, by the way. But what happens when you go out and about in the evening? More to the point, what happens every time you want to go out with friends and enjoy yourself? There is hope! You can still go when you are on a diet—it’s better to call healthy eating a lifestyle choice—and you want to go out to dinner. In this article, you will learn how to navigate menus when eating out.
10 useful ideas for eating properly when eating out
1. Ask for food to be prepared the way you want
Don’t get hung up on the restaurant menu. For example, if there is fried chicken on the menu, you can ask for it to be grilled. If a meal is served with fried potatoes, you can request to have them replaced with a green salad. You could even ask that they serve you half the amount of meat and twice as many vegetables. Another healthy idea is to ask for brown rice instead of white, or have fat-free yogurt instead of sour cream. Don’t be afraid to ask, as most managers will be happy to assist you.
2. Choose from the appetizers and not the main courses
Another option that can help you eat less food is to order your food from the appetizers section. If there is a healthy option, even better. Opt for a veggie side dish rather than a plate full of pasta. Appetizers are usually smaller quantities, unlike typical plates, which often contain too much food anyway. Even ordering two appetizers will probably be better than eating the main course.
3. Eat a salad first
Eating a salad or a vegetable soup before your main plate will fill you up and help you to stop eating sooner. If possible, order your main dish after eating the salad. If your stomach isn’t empty, you will probably choose more wisely.
4. Careful with your drinks!
It’s OK to drink some alcohol every now and then, but don’t overdo it. Especially with impressive cocktails, which may contain more calories than your meal! In Cabarete, it’s best practice to swap sugar with honey in mojitos. You can also have your glass of white wine mixed with some sparkling water. Keep looking for healthier alternatives so you stay healthy without missing out on the fun. And don’t forget to drink lots of water as well. It’s good for you.
5. Say no to the bread basket
Don’t accept bread and crackers before ordering. The rolls they offer, along with the dips, are full of calories. If possible, ask for some vegetables instead to chew on until your meal arrives. If you can’t resist, at least swap white bread, bagels, and muffins for wholegrain varieties.
6. Study the menu from home
If possible—which most likely it is today, thanks to the Internet—read the menu beforehand. Most restaurants publicize their menus on their website, so you can arrive prepared. Choose wisely before you arrive at the restaurant all hungry.
7. Ask them to serve your sauce separately
Whether it is a salad or your main dish, if accompanied by a sauce, ask for it to be served separately in a small bowl and dip the fork in the sauce before pinching each bite. This way you will enjoy your food without consuming all of the fatty elements of the sauce. Another great idea is to choose tomato- or vegetable-based sauces over creamy or cheese-based ones.
8. Order a salad without dressing
These days, some salads may even contain more calories than the main meal, due to some heavy sauces or fried ingredients. You can ask them to leave out anything fried (like croutons), reduce the cheese, and give you the dressing on the side. Better yet, replace the intricate sauce with pure olive oil, vinegar, or lemon juice.
9. Ask them to pack half your food
You can ask your waiter to wrap half of your meal so you can take it with you. That way you will eat a sensible portion and have something tasty to eat the next day as well!
10. Say no to dessert
Ideally, it’s best to avoid sugar altogether and stop eating after finishing your meal. If you must have something sweet, order a simple sorbet or a fruit salad.
Eating out in Cabarete
As you can see, there are some great ideas out there that can easily be implemented. When on holiday at eXtreme Fitness Camp in the Caribbean, you can enjoy your mojitos with honey instead of sugar. That’s what they do there! At the Fitness Camp, you will have all the guidance and support you need to embrace and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
StyleCaster.com, How to Navigate a Menu When Dining Out, https://stylecaster.com/how-navigate-menu-when-dining-out/
Eat right.com, 7 Tips for Healthy Dining Out, https://www.eatright.org/health/weight-loss/eating-out/7-tips-for-healthy-dining-out
Healthline.com, 20 Clever Tips to Eat Healthy When Eating Out, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/20-healthy-tips-for-eating-out#section20