17 Tips to Dining Out Healthy while Trying to Conceive

  • Santa Monica Fertility
  • General

iStock_000010923491_LargeMany couples are instructed to lose weight to increase their chances of getting pregnant. Others are trying to eat healthier to increase their chances of getting pregnant, and set the standard for a healthier lifestyle once the baby comes. Sometimes this proves to be a challenge if you have a busy lifestyle. One of the trickiest parts of eating healthy revolves around eating out and getting together with friends and family.

The question is, are there healthy eating options to keep in mind without memorizing every takeout menu calorie chart? Here are some 17 key tips to keep in mind that will help you stay healthy and help you maintain a healthy weight while you’re trying to get pregnant.

  1. Ask to substitute fat-laden side dishes with steamed vegetables.
  2. Order salad with the dressing on the side, and try to fill up on salad as much as possible.
  3. Split a main dish with your spouse. If you need a bit extra to fill up on, order an extra salad or vegetables.
  4. Avoid all-you-can-eat buffets. It’s much harder to practice portion control if you’re eating at a buffet. Instead, order items off the menu.
  5. Avoid fried foods, particularly fried and breaded foods. Fried foods are very calorie-dense, so if you do choose fried items you’ll need to eat much less than what’s considered a normal serving.
  6. Select fruit for dessert instead of pastries or other rich deserts. If you really love dining out for dessert, consider eating a salad for the main course and going straight to dessert, or just going out for coffee and dessert with friends (and eating a healthy meal at home).
  7. Order an appetizer for the main dish or skip the appetizer completely. Most appetizers are rich and high in fat, and low in nutrients. If you can skip them, you’ll save a lot of calories. If your favorite item on the menu is a particular appetizer, then order the appetizer as your meal, plus a salad, and you’ll save calories.
  8. Look for healthy menu items on restaurant menus. They might be smaller sized portions (such as a petite steak) or they might be made with healthier ingredients.
  9. Watch what you drink. Beverages add a lot of calories to a meal, so add them to the count when mentally tallying your meal. A small beer has about 140 calories, which is about the same as a small (non-diet) soda. Having three beers is about the same as eating a rich dessert.
  10. Look up the menu in advance and plan what you’ll order. This way, you have time to go over the menu and figure out the healthier options.
  11. Ask for butter, sour cream, or other sauces to be served on the side, if possible.
  12. If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, try Greek, Indian, Thai, or Japanese food, which has an emphasis on fresh ingredients and usually isn’t high in fat.
  13. Have a healthy snack a few hours before you arrive at the restaurant. If you arrive famished and feel desperately hungry by the time you’re seated and it’s your turn to order, you’ll be more likely to overindulge. Eat an apple or some fresh vegetables about 1-2 hours before eating out and you’ll add to your willpower.
  14. Don’t assume low carb options are healthier. Some restaurants pack in extra fat in these menu options, making them higher in calories than their counterparts on the menu.
  15. Drink water. By drinking water during your meal, you’ll keep yourself hydrated and eliminate food cravings due to dehydration. You’ll also fill up faster. Even if you order a drink to go with your meal, have a glass of water on the side and plan to drink it up.
  16. Don’t clear your plate. Take half your meal home for later. Ask for a box and take home half your meal for another day.
  17. Choose grilled, steamed, or broiled menu items. Avoid rich sauces and dishes covered in cheese.

It’s a lot of fun to grab lunch with your work buddies or go out with friends. By following these tips, you can dine out and stay healthy while you’re trying to get healthy and get pregnant.

If you and your partner have been trying to conceive for over a year, it’s time to seek the advice of a fertility specialist. Contact Santa Monica Fertility for an initial consultation and evaluation. We work with patients all over the world and look forward to helping you achieve the family you’ve been dreaming of.

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