Let's be honest, we do not always want to cook our meals. Sometimes someone else making it for us sounds a lot better. But, if you are like me I know that if I eat fast food, greasy food, or not as clean I feel gross and sluggish afterwards. This is NOT worth it to me. So, how do we find a balance between not having to cook, eating out, but not feeling awful afterwards?
#1 Look up the menu before either heading to the restaurant or ordering in.
This will allow you to see all of your options as well as the calories. By being able to write out how many calories you are going to consume might seem like you are doing "too much." But, really you are able to build and consume a balanced meal without unknowingly in-taking potentially thousands of calories.
#2 Build your own meal
Many times at restaurants you are able to pick and choose what you want. Just because they have set meals already built for you, does not mean you as the consumer can't make some modifications. Ordering a protein by itself and then adding sides of vegetables is a great way to go. Asking for the sauce on the side can allow you to only use what is necessary. Replacing one of the items such as pasta in the meal for brown rice is another great option. You are the consumer and you get to decide what you eat.
#3 Watch out for items that are deep fried
Menu items that say "crispy" usually are a deep fried item and should be avoided. If you are ordering Chinese food for instance. Order the stir fry instead of the crispy orange chicken. These fried food while I'll admit are delicious are going to be the ones that make you end up feeling sluggish afterwards.
#4 Make small substitutions
Let's say you are ordering a pizza (one of my favorites). Order a thin crust to cut calories. Also load the pizza with vegetables, ask for less cheese, add a quality protein source such as chicken. All of these together will allow you to enjoy pizza but leave you feeling a lot better afterwards. It is minor adjustments like these that create a balance in your healthy lifestyle.
At the end of the day I am not saying you can't go out and splurge on a meal here and there. But, I know that for me a lot of times it is not even worth it anymore. It leaves me feeling bloated, sluggish, and just not great! That is why I have taken on these take out tips in my own life. It allows me to not have to cook all the time, enjoy some of my favorite restaurants, and stay on track all while feeling at my best.