So you are going out for dinner this weekend and all you can think is what can you eat to stay on track and stick to your goals. The menus are confusing and you feel like there are no healthy options. What to do? Don’t fret, I am here to give you your step-by-step plan to eating out with no stress!
- Look-up the menu before you go out
Scope out the menu at home where you can make sound decisions without the influence of restaurant sites, smells and feels. It can be overwhelming when you are reviewing a new menu and feel unsure of what to choose. This is when we tend to just revert to old habits or choose something blindly. When you review the menu at home, you can take your time, look things up if needed and feel confident in your choice before heading out.
Extra Tip: Many menus have their nutritional info available online now so look this up in advance to assist in your decision making process.
- Eliminate Temptation
If you have a weak spot for bread baskets then take them out of the equation! When you are seated at your table, ask the server to skip the bread so you don’t have to fight with your inner will power.
- Start off Right
Start your meal with a glass of water and side salad. This will get your body to fill up on the good stuff rather than devouring a massive portion on your main. I also like to sip on a green tea or coffee as I feel that it slows me down and forces me to savour the food.
Extra Tip: Watch out for salad topping and dressings, there is no point in adding extra calories and fat to a healthy salad.
- Ask Questions
Don’t take the menu at face value. Ask lots of questions about preparation, accompaniments and options. There is nothing to be embarrassed or shy about when it comes to this. Most restaurants will try to be very accommodating and they can only do that if they know what you want.
Extra Tip: Look for words like grilled, broiled, steamed or baked. Avoid words like fried, battered, smothered, creamy, crispy, stuffed and blackened.
- Dress it up Your Way
Always ask for dressings and sauces on the side. Avoid anything cream based altogether and instead opt for a vinaigrette. Mix the dressing in your salad by dipping your fork and then stirring it. There is always way too much dressing provided and we tend to add on more than we need when we pour it.
- Eye Ball Your Portion
Before you dig-in eye-ball the portion size. If you know it’s more than food than what you should be eating, Immediately ask to box half of it. This will eliminate the temptation and keep your calories in check.
- Double Your Appetizers
As an alternative to ordering a main, you may want to opt for two appetizers. Sometimes the appetizer menu offers more healthy choices then the main. You also don’t need to worry about your portions that way.
- Substitute for Veggies
Check with your server what comes on the side of your dish and ask to substitute for veggies. If you get two sides, double up on those greens! Although restaurant portions are always larger than life, the vegetable portions tend to be itty bitty! So go ahead and ask for more!
- Drink Lots of Water
Skip the calorie laden cocktails or carbonated beverages and guzzle down that H2O. Drink water throughout the meal to keep yourself hydrated and combat the salt overload from the restaurant dishes.
- Take your Time
Eat your meal slowly and savor each bite. Give your mind and stomach a chance to recognize that you are eating and pay attention to your body’s signals when you start to feel full. Also, always start with your lowest calories items (veggies and salads) and make it your mission to finish those before moving on to anything else.
I hope this helps with your next dining experience and don’t forget that you can enjoy life while sticking to your goals; it just involves some simple planning and thinking ahead!
If you are ready to take your goals to the next level but have no plans to say ‘good-bye’ to your social life then you NEED to check this out!!! Click HERE