Ever scan a menu and visualise all your good intentions of sticking to a healthy diet fly out the window? We've come up with seven handy ways to stay on track when temptation abounds.
Playwright Oscar Wilde once famously said, "I can resist everything except temptation." It's easy to feel the same way when scanning the menu at a restaurant and seeing all the indulgent options pop out! When temptation is rife, here are some tricks you can try to keep it at bay:
1. Reward good restaurants with your patronage.
Many restaurants are starting to embrace healthier menus, so support them and stop frequenting places that don't offer healthy options. The very existence of Banting-only restaurants prove how customer demand can shape menus - so make your desires known to restaurant management, commend them when they get it right, and make sure you're trending in a healthy direction!
2. Favour water.
You've probably heard the adage "don't drink your calories," but it's true. Make it a rule that you'll only consider another drink once you've first drank a full glass of water. This will ensure you quench your thirst before you fill yourself up with other things. Plus, it'll keep your body stocked with life-giving H20.
3. Make healthy alternatives your new standard.
Dismiss the deep-fried wedges and be adventurous with veggies - some grilled aubergine, creamy spinach or baked sweet potato chips may just become your
new favourite side. If you feel like starch, opt for brown rice or a plain baked potato.
White bread can also easily be replaced with rye or whole-wheat, so don't be shy to ask your waitron about choices.
4. More grill, less grease.
Fish and chicken are generally healthier than red meat (beef and lamb), but not if it's battered and fried. Opt for foods prepared with healthier cooking methods, like those grilled, poached or steamed.
5. Cut out condiments and flirt with new flavours.
Avoid slathering your food with extras like cheese, tomato sauce or dressings and dips that are full of preservatives and salt. A little fresh lemon, chopped chili or kitchen-made mayo can do the trick! Else, be adventurous and find flavoursome foods from around the world - be it Lebanese, Vietnamese, Indian or Mozambiquan - that experiment with different herbs and spices than you're used to.
6. Don't eat more than the portion size your body needs.
Some restaurants offer servings far bigger than you need for one meal. Find out what's recommended for your body, and if your serving looks like too much when it first arrives, share it with a friend or ask for a takeaway container. If you pack the extra food away before you start your meal, you'll keep yourself from eating it after you're full just because you're distracted, bored or because it seems more social.
7. Think twice about dessert.
If you're full after your main course, stop there. Don't peruse the dessert menu if you don't really want any, just because someone else is having. If you do have dessert, ask for something with less sugar, like dark chocolate or fresh fruit in yoghurt, instead of caramel or sticky toffee pudding.
Making healthy lifestyle choices can be tricky, but it's always worthwhile in the long run. Try these tips for just three months and before you know it, they'll be your new healthy norm!
Who needs a restaurant when you can cook gourmet?
It's not as hard as you might think to cook restaurant-quality food in the comfort of your home. Plus, you'll have the added benefit of knowing exactly what's gone into your food!
The Discovery Vitality HealthyFood Studio, our Sandton-based teaching and tasting kitchen, offers fun and interactive cooking courses taught by professionals from the Prue Leith Chefs Academy. So browse our courses and equip yourself with skills for life by learning to cook tasty, nutritious meals like a pro!
If that's the question, this article's for you! Matching cooking methods to the climate helps to get the most out of seasonal produce. Vitality dietitian, Terry Harris, shares the best ways to prep hearty meals in cold months.
What do nutrition experts feed their own families? We chat to Candice Smith, Discovery Vitality's Head of Nutrition Strategy and mother of three, about what her family eats - and get her to share her personal favourite stew recipe!
The increasing focus on the sustainability of our diets encourages us to not only consider the impact of what we eat on our health and waistlines, but also on the environment. Dr Craig Nossel, Head of Vitality Wellness: The Sunday Times, 11 June 2017