Making healthy choices when eating out is totally possible with a plan!

There are so many amazing places to eat and experience in Vancouver. Many of our graduate dieters have to learn how to navigate restaurant menus since it can be hard to eat well if you are eating out often. Vital Body happens to be down the street from one of the top 10 restaurants in Canada, The Pear Tree. There are certain restaurants where it’s safe to assume that you won’t be able to navigate the menu for making healthier choices when eating out. Restaurants, like The Pear Tree, that provide an incredible culinary experience, are more for surrendering to the chef’s creations and going with the flow. This is where the Fun Day on our weight maintenance program becomes very useful. Enjoying restaurants and food styles like Indian food, Chinese food and Italian food is best saved for the Fun Day.

Our maintenance program teaches people how to eat healthy and how to stabilize their weight. It’s actually a very easy program because it’s principle-based. In other words, it’s a way of thinking. One of the main components to our program is the separations of carbs (fettuccine) and fats (Alfredo). Most of the time, it is difficult to keep these two food groups separate when eating out.

There is a way to navigate restaurants for healthy eating in Vancouver. Many places like Nuba, Italian Kitchen, Havana, Chambar and even chains like the Cactus Club and Earl’s do a good job of healthier foods. One of my latest favourites is Jamjar Fold Lebanese Food on Commercial Drive.

Here are my recommendations for navigating the menu when eating out:
1. Treat yourself to sparkling water with lemon before ordering a glass of wine. Pick your wine in the smaller quantity (usually 6oz) but ask the waiter to bring it to you later with your main course.
2. Order a soup first. In warmer climate, pick a salad.
3. Look for dishes with protein rather than carb heavy entrees. You will be more satisfied and satiated than you anticipate and you won’t get the carb bloat after your meal.
4. I often prefer to order multiple appetizers and share with friends instead of ordering a main course all together. It’s a great way to taste the variety of the menu, enjoy eating for a longer time, it’s social and it’s usually plenty of food. Order less than you think you want, you can order more as you go!
5. Enjoy dessert on occasion of course. I recommend ordering yourself a tea first. It will give you time to digest your meal, realize how satisfied you already are and give you time to think about choosing dessert or not.

Let us know about your favourite restaurants in Vancouver that have healthy choices available. We are always on the lookout for new spots. Bon appetit!

Amrita Ahuja
Clinic Director
Vital Body Weight Loss Centre