The guilt-free sticky toffee pudding
Don't worry, this isn’t some excessively healthy recipe that takes out all of the tasty ingredients you find in a sticky toffee pudding. Instead, I’ve shared some ideas on what you can do before a tasty meal out to ensure more guilt-free mouthfuls. This can be particularly helpful if you're a bit of a foodie and find yourself eating out a lot. A few conscious decisions can go a long way to ensure you enjoy your dinner every time. This is even more important when a sticky toffee pudding is involved!
Cut back a bit
Before an evening meal out, some people prefer to eat less during the day to make sure they're truly hungry for their dinner and can pick whatever dishes they like. We all know that restaurant portions air on the bigger side and who doesn't want to finish their plate? It can be as simple as opting for one less Weetabix in the morning (easy for someone like me who eats 3-4!). It may be a case of being more mindful, for example not having that snack at 4.30pm or pushing lunch back by an hour if you're not actually hungry yet.
Feel fuller for longer
If you would rather stick to your normal eating schedule, ensure that your breakfast and lunch don’t scrimp on the protein and complex carbs, as these will keep you fuller for longer. You can’t beat eggs on toast can you (at breakfast, lunch or brunch…)? Don’t just eat some leaves for lunch and think they’ll sustain you, as you’ll be even more likely to reach for the biscuit barrel later on. Add in a lean protein like chicken breast or if you’re vegetarian or vegan, you could roast some chickpeas. Have a think about what could work best for you.
Up the exercise
As you’re going to be swapping the gym for a restaurant, how about going out for a morning walk before you start work to get a few thousand steps under your belt? If you’re still going into the office, why not get off a bus stop earlier to get in some movement that way. Check out my blog post ‘How to fit in exercise around work’ for more tips on this. If you’re working from home, you could do a quick 20 minute home workout YouTube video at lunchtime. It’s surprising how good you can feel after a short sharp burst of exercise!
For some people, balance can mean deciding on two not three courses while eating out, or swapping fries for a side salad with their burger. Pick what works for you and enjoy every mouthful (and don’t listen to anyone else). If not the most important message of all, remember that it’s absolutely fine to go out to dinner and pick whatever you want to eat too! Life is all about balance and if you can’t enjoy the foods you love the most (especially a sticky toffee pudding) then, really, what are we doing on planet Earth?
Let me know of any top tips you have to make the most of eating out! Also, here is the best sticky toffee pudding cake recipe if you fancy cooking one from home...