It’s the weekend! Time to relax, catch up on sleep, catch up with people and socialise. Inevitably food will be involved. Eating brunch out is something that my partner and I look forward to most weekends. And as I have said in multiple posts – I love breakfast – there are so many options. So when you’re eating out regularly, how do you still fit it into a healthy lifestyle?
Here are my top tips for enjoying brunch out without wrecking all those hard hours at the gym.
#1 Avoid having something to eat plus a smoothie. A smoothie could contain the same energy content as a meal, therefore you could end up doubling up on energy without even realising it. Choose one or the other.
#2 Try to avoid ‘Big Breakfast‘ style dishes. These often have multiple eggs as well as sources of meat such as sausage and bacon. Whilst this is a great protein hit – the majority of the protein is coming from saturated fat sources, and these are not your heart’s best friend.
#3 If you are given the option of choosing your bread or toast, opt for wholegrain, avoiding things like ciabatta, Turkish or bagels. This will increase your fibre intake, and likely reduce your overall energy intake. Also go for unbuttered – add your own spread. Relish or avocado make tasty alternatives.
#4 Whilst the Granola/ Muesli option may appear to be the healthiest thing on the menu – it often isn’t. Granolas and mueslis can be a hidden source of sugar and fat. Porridge is often a better option – but be careful about what they serve it with/ how they make it. Cafés will often use cream instead of milk in these kinds of dishes – if you are unsure, just ask.
#5 Fruit platters – I know, what’s the big deal with eating a bunch of fruit? It’s not the fruit itself that’s the problem. However a bowl of fruit is unlikely to keep you full for very long, meaning that an hour later you could be searching for something else to eat, and again doubling up on your energy intake. By all means, have some fruit but have it as an accompaniment!
#6 Pancakes don’t have to be a bad choice – lots of cafes these days make them with more healthful ingredients than your standard white flour – my top tip here? Ask for any kind of syrup that they are served with to be served on the side – this means that you can add as much as you feel comfortable with.
#7 Choose protein options. Eggs are great, soooo nutritious and high in protein. These little babies are going to keep satiety levels high, and if you have indulged in some activity prior to brunch out, they are going to be a great choice for recovery. One thing to watch out for – how the eggs are cooked. Poached is going to be the best bet. Chefs often like to add cream to scrambled eggs and omelettes – double check before you order.
#8 Hot drink choice. Chais, mochas and hot chocolate all have added sugar. Better choices would be tea or coffee – just chose a regular size instead of upsizing. Equally iced coffees and iced chocolates should be cautioned – check how they make them.
#9 Last but not least – keep portion sizes in check. You don’t have to finish everything on your plate. Eat mindfully, take your time, enjoy the flavours, the café ambience and culture and most importantly some good company.