Manger sainement au restaurant

Eating healthy at restaurants.

Written by: Romain Lyomat


Eating healthy at restaurants.

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In the quest for a balanced diet, going out to eat can be a real challenge. This article will guide you on the wise choice of your eating place, the meals to avoid and those favoring light cooking to preserve your health. We will also discuss controlled portion management as well as some tips for resisting inevitable culinary temptations. Finally, we will discuss how to manage post-restaurant in order to maintain a healthy diet despite these little taste escapades.

The choice of restaurant

The quest for healthy restaurants

The art of eating well at a restaurant begins with selecting the location. Above all, it is essential to opt for establishments that promote healthy and balanced cuisine. The current trend is towards restaurants offering dishes based on fresh, local and organic foods, called 'farm-to-table'. These places often emphasize the origin of their ingredients, an undeniable sign of quality.

  • Vegetarian or vegan establishments often offer a wide variety of nutritious options.
  • Asian cuisines such as Japanese or Vietnamese are known for their limited use of fat.
  • Be careful with fast food chains: According to Harvard Health Publishing (2018), these places tend to serve dishes high in calories, fat and sugar.
  • Choose places where you can personalize your dish: selecting your ingredients allows for optimal nutritional control.
  • Don't hesitate to ask the staff for advice on the healthiest options on the menu.

Deciphering the menu: going to a restaurant while maintaining a healthy diet

Once seated in your chosen restaurant, the next step is to decode the menu. Culinary expressions such as 'grilled', 'roasted' or 'steamed' generally indicate a less fatty preparation. However, be careful with terms like 'breaded', 'sautéed' or even 'in sauce', which are often synonymous with 'rich in fat' preparations. Do not hesitate to ask the staff for details on the ingredients and preparation of the dishes. Remember that even in a healthy restaurant, a balanced diet remains your responsibility. Make a deliberate choice of what nourishes your body without compromising your taste pleasure.

Meals to avoid

Once the choice of restaurant is made, another crucial phase is that of the selection of dishes. To improve the culinary experience while maintaining your health, there are certain foods that it would be wise to avoid.

At the top of the ranking, fried or breaded foods should be avoided as much as possible. They generally contain a significant amount of lipids which can be harmful to long-term health. The same goes for the sauces full of cream or butter which often accompany these delicacies.

You should also be wary of the oversized portions often offered in restaurants. We therefore recommend that you favor half portions when possible and avoid the trap of unlimited buffets.

Make sure to limit your alcohol consumption and instead opt for a glass of water or an unsweetened drink to reduce calorie intake during the meal.

By doing this, you will be able to preserve a balanced diet while enjoying your gastronomic escapades!

The preference for light cooking: eating healthily in restaurants.

Healthy restaurant eating isn't about deprivation, it's about making informed choices. Opting for light cooking is crucial.

Low-fat cooking techniques can help maintain a balanced diet while enjoying a delicious meal. Indeed, steaming, grilling or poaching preserves essential nutrients without adding unnecessary oil or butter. In short, these methods highlight natural flavors.

It is best to avoid foods fried or sautéed in excessive amounts of oil. These practices can make even the dish considered the healthiest high in calories.

We must also be careful about the excessive use of sauces and dressings which are often rich in fat and sugar.

Always choose dishes prepared simply, where the quality of the ingredients takes precedence over the unnecessary addition of fatty or sweet elements.

Eating out can be synonymous with taste and health pleasure without compromising your well-being or nutritional goals.

Portion management 

Master your limits

Eating out does not necessarily mean leaving your dietary discipline in the locker room. It is essential to know and respect your own limit in terms of amount of food ingested. Although the dishes served in restaurants are often plentiful, keep in mind that you are not required to empty your plate if it is too full. Take the time to enjoy each bite and listen to your body: stop when you are full.

Know how to compose your plate

The composition of a balanced plate remains an essential aspect of maintaining a healthy diet, even when eating out. Ideally, it should include a quarter of protein (meat or fish), a quarter of complex carbohydrates (whole grains for example) and fill the remaining half with varied and colorful vegetables.

Do not hesitate to ask the server to modify certain ingredients in the dish so that it better meets your nutritional requirements.

Tips for resisting temptations: eating healthily at restaurants.

Resisting temptations when dining out can sometimes seem like a real challenge. According to research from Medical News Today in 2019, frequent eating at restaurants is linked to a significant increase in weight and increased dangers of metabolic disorders. You must therefore acquire some strategies to maintain a balanced diet while enjoying the culinary adventure offered by these establishments.

  • Opt for whole foods: Choose meals that contain foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins.
  • Stay away from sugary drinks: Water remains your best friend. Sodas and cocktails are often filled with unnecessary calories.
  • Stay careful about sauces: They can add a lot of calories and fat to your plate. If possible, request them separately.
  • Divert between courses: A pleasant chat or a brisk walk can help you avoid compulsive picking between each course.

These simple recommendations can significantly influence your nutritional choices when dining out without sacrificing the joy of the gourmet moment or your long-term well-being.

Post-restaurant management: eating healthily at restaurants.

Maintain a regular pace

The key to a healthy diet, even after eating out, is balance. There is no need to skip the next meal to compensate for excesses. On the contrary, we advise you to return to your usual gastronomic habits at the next opportunity. This will allow you to keep your metabolism stable and avoid unwanted cravings.

Post-meal physical activity

After enjoying a delicious restaurant meal, physical activity can be a great way to improve digestion while burning off a few extra calories. A walk or a short session of gentle exercise can work miracles. Keep in mind that the goal is not to "punish" your body after eating but rather to take care of it.


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