Tips for eating out…
If you are on a mission and you have an aggressive weight loss goal avoid restaurants all together. I know… avoidance may not be realistic or possible. So, here are my tips for minimizing the damage when you are eating out.
Wait! Damage? Hmmm, maybe a little too strong of a word, but maybe not. If a restaurant reveals the calories, carbs, fat, and protein information for it’s healthier options and the “healthy” or “low-calorie” meals range from 400-700 calories, imagine how many calories are in their other entrées.
I once shared a meal with a date at the Cheesecake Factory to later learn that the entrée alone had 1600+ calories. My daily calorie goal is 1400-1700 calories… that’s one days’ worth of calories. Thank goodness we split it. Need I say? “That is ridiculous!!!”
I assume that most dinners eaten in a restaurant are setting me back 800+ calories, even when I use my own advice. So here it goes…
- When you place your order ask for a to go container to be delivered prior to or with the meal (unless you are splitting the entrée with someone). As soon as the meal arrives place 1/2 of it in the container.
- Research the menu online before you head to the restaurant
- Ask a lot of questions… if you do not know how the food is prepared, ask!
- Ask the server what items they recommend for someone wanting to eat healthy and minimize calories.
- Best options for protein is grilled or broiled. Choose lean proteins, fish or chicken.
- Request all sauces and dressings to be served on the side. Dip into them, do not pour them on the entrée or salad.
- Ask for lime or lemon to add zip to seafood, salads, and veggies
- Fill up on a salad with non-fat dressing on the side. (Croutons and cheese calories add up quick.)
- No bread or chips & salsa
- Drink a glass of water before you leave the house and another glass before the food starts getting delivered
- Brown is better than white. Brown rice, brown bread (if you must), wheat pasta, etc.
- Opt for veggies over other sides. Ask how they are prepared… steamed, no butter or sauces.
- Anything fried is a no no
- Choose olive oil over butter or margarine
- Take one bite at a time. Chew your food… enjoy your food. Set your fork down in-between each bite.
- Skip the dessert. If it gets passed by you and you can’t help yourself, take one bite, savor it, and pass it along.
Be patient and do not apologize for asking questions. If the server needs to leave to get you the answer, don’t sweat it. This is your journey, you are honoring your body and wellness, you are entitled to know what you are putting in your body. Don’t worry about your dinner companions… who knows, maybe they will pick up a few pointers from you.
When I know I’ll be eating out I will conserve calories during the day, especially if I know alcohol will be involved. Oh! Speaking of alcohol order before you have too much to drink. It’s difficult to make good choices when you are tipsy.
I’m looking forward to hearing how your next meal out goes. Let me know. Kathi