Go Halfsies!! (On calories and costs when eating out)

half mealHi Fit Friends!! Do you LOVE eating out?? Or does your social life require you to eat out regularly? Well fear not, I have the secret to not giving up your outings, while keeping your nutrition and fitness results in check!  Besides ordering from the healthier items on the menu, you could also start splitting your meals with a friend or your future self (hey leftovers!) to avoid that terrible feeling of guilt afterwards. Not only can you breathe a sigh of relief by being able to eat out to your heart’s content, but you can also save a few bucks whenever you go out!

How to split!

This probably seems pretty simple, but if you’re new to splitting, here are some pointers:

1. Decide to split before you sit.  From personal experience, I find that I never want to split a meal if I’ve had a chance to scope out the menu or worse, if I see those delicious meals go past my table. Once I’m in the restaurant, it’s usually way too difficult to say no to my own plate of yumminess. BUT if I decide with a friend beforehand they can hold me accountable and help me keep my eyes on the prize!

2. Choose your meal buddy wisely. Not everyone will be as health conscious as you. You don’t want to make someone feel bad when they suggest the fried chicken smothered in gravy and cheese and then some. Instead, ask your workout buddy, or another friend or colleague with similar goals as you. That way all those substitutions like holding the mayo, baked not fried, etc won’t be an inconvenience to your buddy.

3. Order an extra side of veggies. Your single chicken breast or half sandwich might look mighty lonely on that plate now. Instead of filling that void with another 1 or 2 servings of your entree, ask for a side salad or a vegetable to complete the meal, and keep you from looking going back  for more. If you must overindulge, do it with something healthy like green beans, a side salad (NOT CEASAR), a sweet potato, and similar items. Stay away from the extra starches, cheese, dressings, and tempura veggies (why is that even a thing??).

3. Put your leftovers in someone else’s hands. I don’t mean to give away your leftovers (unless, of course, you want to). Instead, I mean that you can ask your server to put half of your meal away before they bring your dish to the table. Again, you want to minimize the temptation to go overboard.

The Best Meals for Halfsies

  • Panini Sandwiches: These are typically far larger than anything you’d make at home, and of course are easy to split with a friend or put away for leftovers the next day
  • Flat Bread Pizzas: Of course pizza is probably not the healthiest option on your menu, but if you have a craving, stick with flatbread, maybe on whole wheat with lots of tomato sauce and veggies. These pizzas are usually 1-4 servings anyway, so it’s definitely a good idea to split!
  • Steak (or other hearty red meat): I LOVE my steak, but the larger portion options are chocked full of calories, so I try to split it up when I can. I suggest splitting anything 10 oz and up, but it’s up you and your buddy of  course!
  • Pastas and Stir Fry: Again, this may not be the healthiest item to choose from, but if you must indulge, sharing these meals is a great option. You could get some extra grilled veggies on the side to keep you full and keep your eyes from wandering to your buddy’s plate. No take backs!!

What other meals do you like to split, if any? Let me know in the comments below!!

*Keep it moving!

© July 2014

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