Yesterday I posted some of my tips on how to dine out while sticking to your health and weight goals. If you missed the post, you can view it here. At the end of the post I asked if you had any tips that I missed, and boy did you provide some great ones! Here are some that I chose (sorry, I couldn’t post every one!). I sort of re-wrote them, so don’t be surprised if it doesn’t sound like exactly what you wrote. All pictures are from iStock Photo.
Biz said it’s good to always ask for modifications! Never be afraid. The worst that will happen is that they will say they can’t do it. No biggie.
Gina and Anna both said that they don’t eat out very often, and they prefer to stay in and cook their own food. In my opinion it’s good to try to eat out less than 2 times per week. This includes lunch and breakfast, not just dinner. Find some recipes that are simple, quick, and healthy. Check out my side bar for some good ideas!
Heather said when she does go out she tries to order meals focused on veggies and have the main course light on bread or pasta. I love this idea, especially if you order a beer or have some bread or chips prior to the meal (all three will contribute simple carbs).
Missy (aka the QUEEN of dining out and sticking to her goals) suggested ordering salads without croutons or cheese. This is a great idea, as those two components can really make or break a healthy salad. You could even just ask for them on the side, therefore you have the ability to add as much or as little as you want (hopefully the latter). Also, when it comes to side salads, always ask what’s on the salad. A side salad may sound simple and low calorie, but some can have bacon, croutons, blue cheese, cheddar cheese, and lots of dressing. The restaurant I used to work at had a side salad that was about 300 calories!
Hallie said;” One thing I like to do when I go out to eat is always order water, first thing, and guzzle it!”. As Hallie indicated this is a good way to make yourself feel “full”. Studies do show that when you order soup before a meal you will eat less overall, but I think water is a better idea. Soup is very high in sodium, and can also be very high in calories. I forgot to mention yesterday that it’s also important not to go to a restaurant STARVING. I always eat a little snack before I eat out, no matter what (small handful of my granola, some grapes, an apple, etc.).
Ellie said; I always look out for creamy sauces, cheese, breading/coating, etc.. Staying away from these can help cut hundreds of calories out of the meal that you probably won’t even notice. Some words to stay away from include; au gratin, creamy, crispy, breaded, and fried. But don’t assume that something is baked or grilled if you don’t see the word “fried”, always ask first!
Erin suggested boxing half of your meal. This is especially important in today’s mega-meal world where you can buy one entree to feed you for three nights.
Jess said, “Don’t feel pressured by others to eat a certain way or eat a certain something that derails you from sticking to your eating plan/needs.” Everyone has been in this situation before, where you feel like you should “keep up” with everyone else at the table. But there is a problem with this; a) They may not care about their health and/or weight as much as you do, and b) This may be their first “splurge” in a long time, and they feel they deserve this (which is fine! But you may not be in the same position).
Melinda brought up the issue of buffets. She said she used to teach a class about eating healthy at a buffet. This is the perfect opportunity to say, AVOID BUFFETS AT ALL COSTS! Seriously, if you can, run away. For those of you who have good willpower, that’s fine, but for many of us we want to “get our money’s worth” and that spells danger.
Sophia said she likes to get butter on her veggies (which is just fine, really) because she feels that the butter makes her feel full, thus she eats less! This s great, but I would also add to this that some people have no clue how much butter is actually on their veggies, therefore they assume that the veggies are low calorie and they psych themselves into eating more, despite actually being full. So if you are not asking for “no butter, or no oil added” be aware that you are consuming at least 100 calories more, so you need to make up for that somewhere.
Joanna says she packs her own salad dressings! This is a great idea, as long as the restaurant is ok with it. Most restaurants don’t complain, but they would prefer if you make it discrete 😉 I personally just ask for their dressing, but on the side. I love restaurant dressings, and I’m all about FULL FAT varieties (typically oil based). I just dip my fork in the cup and then eat away!