I decided to commit to trying one month sugar free on December 31 2014.
On January 1 2015, I found myself staring at the menu in a seaside pub, wondering what the heck I was going to eat for lunch!
Yep, eating out sugar free is tough. You become suspicious of just about everything on your plate (“Do you think carrots have added sugar in them?”) Plus, you’re only one poor menu choice away from breaking your newfound habit – and at high risk of abandoning it completely when the dessert board comes out!
Surely going sugar free shouldn’t ruin your social life ? There must be some things you can still eat?
Well, it turns out there are (hurray!)
So after one month of learning to live life sugar free, here are my top five eating out sugar free survival tips:
- Check out the menu beforehand. It’s so much easier to make sugar free choices when you a. aren’t choosing your meal on impulse and b. have time to Google its ingredients. Lots of chain restaurants have their nutritional info up online too, so it should really be easy to pick something that’s sugar free (right?!)
- Try and steer your friends towards traditional pub grub. You’re more likely to find meat and three veg on a pub menu, and that’s the meal which is usually least likely to be hiding added sugar. Food covered in sauce is most definitely a no, and if you’re choosing the salad just be sure to ask for it without dressing!
- Choose the dish with the most green ingredients. My friends and I went out for a Chinese meal shortly after I decided to go sugar free. Knowing most sauces on the menu would contain some kind of sugar, I opted for the stir fry vegetable noodles. There was no sauce, just veg, noodles and oriental seasoning – it turned out to be pretty delicious! My theory here is that if I do accidentally eat some added sugar, at least I’m getting my veggies in!
- Order yourself a coffee while your dining party’s eating dessert. It gives you something to sip while they’re enjoying their pudding. And if you’re still staring enviously at their chocolate brownies, at least you’ll have a cup to catch the drool in 😉
- Ditch the post-meal wine bar for a late-night café. Admittedly this one’s a bit harder to do if you don’t live in the middle of a city. But since going sugar free I’ve discovered there are evening drink alternatives out there. My favourite? L’eto caffé in London’s Soho. You can have a herbal tea while your friends enjoy a pinot!
What are your top tips for eating out sugar free?