Tag Archive for: mindful eating


Eating out has become a popular trend in modern times due to busy schedules, the desire for convenience, and the availability of a variety of cuisines. However, eating out can be challenging for individuals who are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Restaurants typically serve larger portion sizes, and calorie-dense foods, and offer limited healthy options. In this blog, we will discuss how to manage eating out according to one’s goals, bust some common myths, and explore whether eating out is good or bad for one’s health.

Reasons for Eating Out:

There are several reasons why people choose to eat out, including travel, work, and cultural experiences. While traveling, one might not have access to cooking facilities or may want to try local cuisine. Similarly, during work hours, people might not have enough time to pack their meals and prefer to eat out. Cultural events or celebrations also provide an opportunity to try new foods and flavors.

Manage according to their goals:

It is essential to be mindful of one’s goals while eating out. For individuals trying to maintain their fitness goals, it is crucial to choose healthier options such as grilled or baked foods, salads, and vegetables. People with specific dietary needs, such as those with metabolic syndromes, should communicate with the chef or staff about their requirements. Those with lifestyle goals, such as weight management or maintaining a balanced diet, should choose meals with a good balance of macronutrients, such as protein, fiber, and healthy fats.

Here are some cuisine-specific guidelines that you can follow: 

Italian cuisine: 

  • Skip the bread basket. Order a clear soup instead. 
  • Opt for the red sauce pasta instead of the white.
  • Sorbets/frozen yogurt are ideal dessert options. 
  • Ask if whole wheat pasta options are available. 
  • Customise your meal by adding a salad on the side (dressing served separately). 
  • Choose dishes with lean cuts of meat, if you’re a non-vegetarian. Chicken breast, fish and prawns are good options. Vegetarians can have a protein shake (if possible) before the meal at the restaurant. 

Indian Cuisine: 

  • Avoid greasy/deep-fried starters. 
  • Clear soups/ tomato soups are ideal appetizers. 
  • Steamed finger food/mains like idli and idiyappam are ideal options. 
  • Opt for grilled/tandoor/kebab/tikka-based mains and ensure it is a protein source. 
  • Customise your meal by finding out what the ingredients of the meal are. For example, ask them to reduce the oil or remove a certain ingredient. 
  • If you are a non-vegetarian, choose chicken breast/fish/egg-based dishes. Vegetarians can have a protein shake (if possible) before the meal at the restaurant. 
  • Be cautious of servings of gravies like butter chicken, paneer butter masala and malai kofta. They are very palatable but, calorie-dense. 

Asian Cuisine: 

  • Avoid greasy/deep-fried starters. 
  • Clear soups are ideal appetizers. 
  • If you have access to sushi, opt for those. 
  • Steamed finger food like momos or grilled satays (chicken/tofu) are ideal appetizers. 
  • Ask about the preparation method of the noodle/rice dishes. 
  • Ideally, opt for a serving of steamed jasmine rice/white rice along with curries like Thai curry. 
  • Avoid deep-fried sides like Manchurian gravies. 

Middle-Eastern Cuisine: 

  • Opt for servings of tabbouleh/fattoush salads or any other meat-based salads. 
  • Stick to one serving of hummus and pita bread. You can even opt for yogurt-based dips like tzatziki. 
  • Opt for meat/vegetarian shawarma-based dishes, without additional dressings like mayonnaise. 
  • Avoid french fries and swap them with a salad instead. 
  • Vegetarians can opt for baked falafels/paneer shawarma. Non-vegetarians can ideally opt for chicken-based dishes.

Mexican Cuisine: 

  • Avoid fried/greasy starters. 
  • Opt for clear soups or salads as appetizers or even as your meal. 
  • If there are options to customize your meal/build your meal, choose wisely. Add more vegetables/bean options. 
  • Ask for naked burritos or tacos. 
  • Opt for a small serving of guacamole as a topping.

Myths and Facts:

  1. Myth: Eating out is always unhealthy.

Fact: It is possible to make healthy choices while eating out. Instead of deep-fried or calorie-dense food items try choosing grilled or baked foods, salads, and vegetables.

  1. Myth: All restaurants serve unhealthy food.

Fact: Many restaurants now offer healthy options on their menus in response to the growing demand for nutritious meals. These options often feature low-calorie foods that are nutrient dense. Vegetarian and vegan options are also increasingly available in many restaurants. Customers with specific dietary requirements can request customised meals, such as gluten-free or nut-free options. These changes have made it easier for people to eat healthily while enjoying the social aspect of dining out.

Myth: Eating out is always more convenient than cooking at home.

Fact: Prior planning and preparing meals ahead of time can make cooking at home a convenient option. Also, cooking meals at home gives people complete control over the type and amount of ingredients that are being used, ensuring that they are getting a nutritious and balanced meal. While it allows people to try out various recipes and ingredients, cooking at home can also be a creative and engaging hobby. Overall cooking at home can be a convenient, healthy, and enjoyable option for those who take the time to plan and prepare their meals in advance.

Myth: Eating out is not suitable for individuals with specific dietary needs.

Fact: Restaurants are increasingly offering menus that cater to customers with dietary restrictions such as gluten-free or vegan diets. This change is driven by a growing awareness of food allergies and sensitivities and a demand for plant-based diets. Gluten-free menus often include alternatives such as gluten-free pizza crust or pasta. Vegan menus exclude all animal products and feature creative dishes that use plant-based ingredients. Overall, these special menus provide customers with more choices and accommodate a wider range of dietary needs.


Is it good or bad?

The answer to whether eating out is good or bad for one’s health depends on several factors. Firstly, the frequency and portion sizes of the meals consumed while eating out play a significant role. Secondly, the type of foods consumed and the preparation methods used are also important. Lastly, one’s overall dietary habits and lifestyle factors, such as physical activity levels, also impact the health implications of eating out.


In conclusion, eating out is a part of our modern lifestyle that cannot be avoided entirely. However, individuals can manage their eating habits by making healthier choices and practising moderation. It is essential to communicate with the host/hostess and plan and choose meals that align with one’s dietary goals. By doing so, individuals can enjoy the social and cultural experiences that come with eating out while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


  1. “Eating Out: How to Stay Healthy While Eating Out.” Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, https://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/nutrition-facts-and-food-labels/eating-out.
  2. “Eating out.” National Health Service, https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/eating-out/.


As one of the best nutritionist avians, or the only one, Yoda cannot emphasize the importance of having optimal eating habits and patterns. However, to understand what’s optimal, we’ll have to trace our steps backward, understand our current diet from the ground up and restructure it to align it with our health goals.

Why do people eat what they eat?

Food is an integral part of our everyday lives. Rightly so, our food habits are shaped right from our childhood. Based on our cultural backgrounds, the peer pressure we go through & the choices we make with our health in mind, and a lot of other factors that influence our food habits.

Our households might influence if we’re vegetarian or non-vegetarian, our peers might influence habits like fast food, smoking, and drinking. As years progress, what we eat is also shaped by our health conditions and preferences of our own.

For instance, people with lactose intolerance eat a lot less dairy products and people who’re actively looking to reduce their cholesterol levels will eat less saturated fats and processed foods.

While it’s not exhaustive, one’s cultural background, peer pressure, health consciousness, health conditions, and other psychological factors are the reason why they eat what they eat. It is very important to know this, because to course-correct yourself, it is important to understand why you were in the course in the first place.

Healthy habits, healthy being.

“Eat healthily” is the most confusing suggestion one can give. ‘Healthy’ is very subjective, and for each individual and their body there needs to be a scientific, evidence-based, and formulaic diet plan. So, blanket diets that claim to be the ‘one size fits all solution’ are not the ideal way to approach food and health.

You’ll have to monitor your health and biomarkers that indicate risks of conditions like diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, etc., and come up with a diet plan that ensures sustainable nutrition that can reduce these risks and bring your biomarkers to their optimum levels.

Constant intervention and diet modification definitely help, but getting started in the right direction is all that matters.

While it is true that specific food habits and particular dietary practices can not be followed by everyone, there are a few habits that wouldn’t hurt if you picked them up. Consider them the very basics; healthy eating 101.

  1. Practice mindful eating.
  2. Whole foods are always friendly. Choose minimally processed veggies and fruits, and add more of them to your plate.
  3. Avoid food that’s processed or refined to a point where there are little to no natural nutrients.
  4. Pay attention to your portion sizes. Smaller, more frequent meals are better than larger meals with huge gaps in between.
  5. Snacking habits need revisiting. Nuts instead of chips, fruits instead of cakes, and soups instead of carbonated drinks!

These are all a few general practices that can take your health a long way forward. Here’s one more – eat on time!

Erratic meal timings and their effect on your body’s clock

Food habits are directly related to health and chronic conditions. One of the most common, yet most detrimental eating habits in today’s world is how irregular our meal timings have become. 3 AM snacks are romanticized and skipping breakfast for work has become a prideful habit. Here’s the ugly truth – irregular, erratic meal timings are spoiling your body’s balance!

These food habits with erratic timings also have downsides such as a drop in energy levels, fatigue, headache episodes as they interfere with the body’s natural circadian rhythm that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. This will impact physical, mental, and behavioral changes.

While circadian rhythm is considered synonymous with sleeping and waking, the sleep cycle isn’t the only clock your body holds. Here’s how out-of-sync meal timings can disrupt your natural rhythm.

It can induce increased calorie intake due to impaired satiety mechanisms through leptin and ghrelin. In simpler words, your body’s confused about being full and being hungry, and we end up snacking a lot or filling ourselves up with cups of coffee.

Things like the body’s temperature, some intestinal functions, and nutrient absorption are all rhythmically regulated.

This is why people who skip breakfast have a higher body mass, and why people that work night shifts have bowel habit alterations, constipation/diarrhea, bloating, and other metabolic syndrome risks.

The human body and the rhythm it functions around is pretty complex and you’ll need to consciously stick to a routine when it comes to eating, physical activity, and dietary plans.

Sticking to a routing

Yoda read a study report that said people who had balanced meals at the right proportion regularly (6 or more meal portions in a day) showed optimal energy expenditure, nutrition absorption, and overall healthy biomarker signals. This means they were less prone to risks like cholesterol, sugar, and hormone balance than people who had a poorer diet plan and irregular meal patterns.

This empirical evidence along with the testimonies of all the clients that we interact with daily, we can confirm that regularity, some amount of self-monitoring, and the conscious food choices that we make will help improve our health and help us reach our health goals. A routine helps you realize that taking care of your health isn’t a one-time activity, but a continuous process!

Take help when you need it

Regulating habits and developing new, healthy ones are easier said than done. Avoiding triggers that make it harder to stick to the routine, to reward or rework your dietary practices based on the feedback from your body, and making constant progress towards a healthier tomorrow is an exciting journey, but a tiny bit exhausting.

So, get professionals to help you with it. Speak to our team of expert nutritionists, and give yourself the healthy lifestyle you deserve.