You’ve been on point with your workout routine. You’ve been prepping your own healthy lunches and dinners. You are all set to lose those extra pounds gained this winter. Then, you get invited to a business lunch (or dinner, or networking event). You don’t want to be that person who everyone at the table side-eyes for asking too many questions about how a dish is prepared, and you don’t want to make your fellow diners feel awkward by eating too little Here are three tips to make a business lunch healthy.
How to Have a Healthy Business Lunch
Cut Down on the Liquor
Studies have linked moderate consumption of alcoholic drinks–especially mixed cocktails–to weight gain. Most of this is due to the calorie content of sugary mixes and juices added to cocktails. For example, one margarita can have more than 150 calories, compared with a white wine spritzer, which has less than 100.
If you just can’t get through that lunch or dinner without a stronger spirit, experts recommend nixing the chasers altogether and going with a top-shelf option on the rocks. For example, an ounce of 80-proof vodka, gin, rum, or scotch contains 64 calories and the same amount in 100 proof varieties has 80 calories. The average neat cocktail contains 1.5 ounces of liquor, so you’re still keeping the calories lower than if you’d gotten that Bloody Mary or Long Island Iced Tea.
Look Up Menu Options and Plan Ahead
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends researching the meal options at restaurants and checking online menus if available for nutrition information before a business lunch. If you’re being invited to a business dinner or lunch, request a particular restaurant that has a diversity of healthy options.
If you’re at a conference, nutrition buffs recommend skipping the donuts and muffins and going for fresh fruit or juices. You can also ask if vegetarian or non-meat options are available.
If All Else Fails, Doggy-bag Half Your Meal
We know; this can seem like an obnoxious and annoying request, but some restaurants will oblige a request for a doggy-bag. If you can discretely ask a server to take half your meal from the start and put it aside for taking home, do it. If that’s not a possibility–or you just cringe at the thought–the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests visualizing how your portion should be and eating accordingly.