Dining Out? Here’s How to Do It Without Blowing Your Plan
You’re on a roll with your healthy eating and weight loss, but your husband wants to go out tonight. When you get to the restaurant, some options almost match your plan, but you need to make a few modifications…
I want the chef salad, please, with the oil and vinegar on the side and the apple pie a la mode. But I’d like the pie heated and I don’t want the ice cream on top, I want it on the side and I’d like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it, if not, then no ice cream just whipped cream but only if it’s..
.– Sally from When Harry Met Sally
Does that sound familiar?
Ordering like Sally is funny once. If you order like that all the time, your friends will not want to dine with you. The good news is, there are ways to order healthy food at a restaurant... politely.
Don’t Apologize... But Reserve Judgment
So many people come from a place of apology when they’re eating out, and they need to modify the menu. They say, “Oh, I’m so sorry, I’m on a special diet. Would it be okay if...?”
Instead, be proud of your healthy living. It really is admirable that you’re taking a stand for your health! In this way, you are also a good example for the people dining with you. Similarly, please don’t look down your nose when your friend orders fried mozzarella sticks. No one wants to dine out with the food police.
You’ll set a positive example when you’re the only one who’s not unbuttoning the top button after dinner.
Make Sensible, Delicious Choices
With each meal, you have a caloric budget, and you get to choose how you spend that budget. Would you rather have a fantastic appetizer or the chocolate lava dessert? You don’t really get both unless it’s a couple of bites off someone else’s dessert (but you better ask permission first, or you might get a fork in the back of the hand – ouch!).
Just remember, your planned indulgence must be mind-blowingly good!
If you’re at an Italian restaurant, and the bread is fan-freakin’-tastic, have a piece. If not... PASS! If the chips and salsa are amazing at a Mexican restaurant, enjoy. If you prefer the flan, great! Me? I’m spending my calories on chips and salsa.
Don’t worry; I’m not sending you to the nudist colony for dinner. Eating “naked” means getting all the sauces on the side – that way, you get to control how many calories you consume from the expensive sauce (I mean calorically expensive here).
Another hint: if you’re going to drink, limit your cocktails to one or two. Lite beer, wine, or anything clear, like soda water, are the best choices. The more frou-frou the drink, the more calories it contains (think one pina colada = 1000 calories).
Let’s say you messed up. Worst case scenario: you end up drunk, in the back of a taxi with a doggie bag of food from who-knows-where, and you were kind of a food ho that night.
Don’t wait until Monday morning to get back on track. If this was a wild Saturday eating night, get back on track Sunday morning at breakfast and try to forget that Coyote Ugly from the night before.
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