It happens to everyone at some point in their weight loss journey. You’re going out to eat with friends and you pan the menu for the “healthy” options so you can attempt to stay on target. Salads are always a gamble because of the dressing, soups usually include melty cheese or bread and the grilled chicken breast isn’t healthy if it includes bacon and 3 cheeses! What is a person to do?
Ah…here we go, a turkey burger! You can load it up with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and ketchup and you have a healthy lunch. Well think again! That turkey burger is usually grilled in butter, the bun is usually toasted in butter and who knows what else was put into that burger when it was prepped. So now your “healthy” option just became as bad as a regular burger. This happened to me at TGI Fridays recently. I went with the Turkey Burger and fries option, planning on having a 12-15 point lunch and ended up eating a 34 point lunch! I got sabotaged by the turkey!!! We’re left asking the question….IS THERE ANY HOPE!?!
Yes, there is! I’ve put together some helpful eating out tips that you can use when venturing out to your favorite eateries and eat some great food without all the guilt!
Know Before You Go: If you know where you are going to be heading, look at their menu well in advance. This will give you an opportunity to do some research and scout out the healthy options ahead of time. This way you can pick out a few options before you even arrive and you aren’t left making the last-minute “it’s your turn to order” decision which usually results in something fattening! Most restaurants also post their nutritional information on their website so you can check out the damage and decide for yourself what you are willing to sacrifice for. If you are using Weight Watchers there are a TON of sites out there that give you the points values for many of the major chain restaurants menus and save you the work of figuring it out on your own. Knowing is half the battle.
Hold the Fat Ma’am!: When you are eating out, remember that YOU are the customer and YOU are in control! Don’t ever be afraid to ask the waiter/waitress to prepare you food a certain way. It’s your meal and you should be able to enjoy it how you want it. (This doesn’t just happen at Burger King!) Tell the waiter/waitress to be sure your meat is not grilled in any butter or fats. As for steamed vegetables instead of sautéed and don’t let them toast that bun! If they tell you that something is “pre-made” and can’t be changed, then ask for something different that can be. Remember, just like He-Man, YOU HAVE THE POWER!!!
Can I bring you some bread while you wait?: OH MY STARS NO! Skip that bread basket at all costs! They always deliver it with a pot of oil for dipping or a stick of butter for spreading! Either way you go you will not win with the bread basket! Carbs and fat run rampant in this silent diet destroyer. It sits there looking all warm and toasty in its cute little wicker basket. How can something that looks so innocent and delicious be bad for you? Trust me when I say, it can! Save those carbs for the main meal, your waistline and your stomach will thank you later! If you are a bread pimp (like myself) and you absolutely MUST have some, limit yourself to one piece and SKIP the butter/oil.
Ooh, did you see the dessert menu?: Ma’am, put the menu down and step away from the table! Dessert is another silent killer. From 4 layer chocolate cake covered in sauce to deep-fried donut holes with ice cream desserts are a fast track to fatville with no return trip! Just because it’s served with raspberries or strawberry sauce doesn’t mean it’s healthy! You know you thought it, don’t play! Don’t panic however, if you are one of the 98% of us who NEED dessert or you’ll die, there are options. First, start out by choosing the healthiest of the options (or the lesser of the evils). Nowadays, many restaurants are offering “Dessert Shooters” or “Mini Desserts” that are low-calorie, mini-size portions of their oversized siblings. These are usually your best choice. If that is not an option, get something that everyone enjoys and SHARE! Desserts in small portions aren’t bad for you and besides if you’re going to indulge you might as well take friends down with you right?
I Couldn’t Help Myself!: It’s going to happen sometime. It’s not logical to think that we will eat healthy 24/7 right? And sometimes you can’t help it, whether there aren’t any other options or you just felt like eating whatever you wanted! The most important thing to remember is to not beat yourself up over it. If you indulge once in a while, that is perfectly normal and healthy! You’re human, we need chocolate and pizza! Healthy living is about what you do the MAJORITY of the time not the MINORITY of the time. If you’re eating right 6 days a week, you totally deserve to splurge one meal and eat something good or treat yourself to a special dessert. The key is to avoid OVER indulging, be mindful of your portions and don’t make it a JUNK DAY! One meal and a snack are ok, but keep yourself on track for the rest of the day. One meal isn’t going to throw you off course but a whole day of bingeing certainly can derail any weight loss plan. So go ahead order that cheeseburger, get the spinach dip appetizer, tell the waiter you WILL need to see a dessert menu, just remember No Butter, Hold the Bread and SHARE! 🙂
I hope you find these tips helpful when eating out in the future and that you can enjoy your favorite places without sacrificing too much! The journey to the new you is under way and hopefully you are starting to find your path easier than you thought it would be. You can do it and you have my support!
Coming up next….Skinny Drinks….we’ll cover everything from juice to cocktails, helping you find ways to cut the calories while still enjoying a drank now and then! How do you like your martini? See you soon!
KeithBrought to you by Mills Properties Photo courtesy of Squidoo