In the final week of our 30 Fit Days challenge, Siobhan Byrne gives top tips for staying healthy while eating out - which foods are good to tuck into and which ones are best avoided.
You will often hear me say that the only diet that will work for you is the diet you can stick to. With that in mind, even I am not a saint and I like to go out and enjoy meals out - after all, life is for living and it is unrealistic to have a constant diet.
My first tip for eating out is to never go out to eat when hungry. This may seem to defeat the purpose, but having a healthy light snack before going out to eat will stop you having those pesky extra calories from the bread basket and starters because you are fighting hunger.
Keep it simple, stick to lean meats with salads and vegetables. One of my favourite meals to go out for is fillet steak, with rocket and parmesan salad, accompanied by a glass of red wine. This may seem quite simple and light but if you keep thinking of going out to eat like it's an all-night buffet, you may have to address your eating behaviours. All too often I will feel bloated, tired and sluggish if I order pasta or potatoes or dessert after my meals.
Avoid buffets, they are literally a recipe for disaster. It is almost impossible to control the amount of calories you eat in a buffet scenario as opposed to a sit down meal. You also have no control over how many calories each dish has, so you can easily end up gorging yourself on your entire daily calorie allowance in just one meal.
Pick a restaurant that has relatively clean, healthy foods which are not laden down with sauces or deep fried.
And just because it's on the plate doesn't mean you have to eat it. If it's extra that you don't need, stop eating. It's not about getting your money's worth but keeping that waistline trim.
Oat crepe with scrambled eggs and home-made salsa (cup of oats, 1 egg, dash of milk of choice and water to make thin liquid-like mixture). Fry in a non-stick pan with no oil until cooked on both sides
Small handful of almonds, approximately 12-15
Smoked salmon wraps 3-5 with cucumber, mozzarella (¼ mozzarella is a portion divided between each wrap) and gherkin slices with baby spinach
Berries with small fat-free Greek yoghurt pot dusted with cinnamon
Spiralised vegetables with home-made turkey/beef bolognese. I mix half turkey and beef to give plenty of flavour but cutting the calories. Opt for turkey breast mince and the leanest possible mince
Tip of the week
Missing your pasta fix? If you are a lover of pasta, or the idea of it, invest in a spiralizer - a handy contraption for making thin vegetable noodle-like strips without all the calories.
This is good for when you start getting a little bored with vegetables and can make a great accompaniment to home-made bolognese without the starchy carb heaviness.
30 Fit Days: Week No 4
- Stand upright with your feet split from back to front.
- Lower your body down towards the ground like a lunge position.
- Push off the front foot and jump into the air landing with the opposite foot forward. Repeat. Advance this exercise further by using a weighted ball or dumbbell, holding it at chest level.
- Start by going into a squat position with your hands on the ground and feet placed on the floor.
- From there, thrust both legs out and back to full extension keeping the back straight and not dipped.
- Return to start position and repeat. Ensure that you keep your tummy tight and do not let the lower back dip when your legs are extended.
Note: This exercises can also be performed with sliders under the feet
Alternating Hamstring curls with sliders
- Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the sliders on the floor and arms and hands by your side.
- Bridge your hips up, then extend one foot out keeping your hips bridged, then return the foot back to start position.
- Repeat same movement on opposite leg.
Note: If you don't have sliders at home you can use cloths on a tiled or wooden floor. When using sliders or cloths for the first time take it easy and find the extension and reach that you are comfortable with without overextending and loosing your form.
Walk out push-up
- Stand upright with your arms by your sides then bend forward at the waist and place your hands on the floor in front.
- Walk your hands out until your body is straight in the top position of a push-up.
- Perform a push-up then walk your hands back in and return to the upright position.
- Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands by your side.
- Squat down toward the grounds pushing your hips back, ensure that your knees don't go beyond your shoe laces.
- Then jump up in the air and land back into a squat position and repeat.
- Start with your feet on the floor and two hands on the ground. Make sure your back is flat with your core engaged.
- Slowly bring one knee up to the chest, then return back to start position and repeat with opposite leg. This is one rep.