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Eating out while on a diet plan does not have to be avoided, or scary for that matter. This article is great because you are able to enjoy eating out, but not compromise your diet you have worked so long and hard for this far. It is rather unrealistic to think you are going to stay home at all hours of the day (especially dinner) when you are trying to clean up your eating habits, and lose that unwanted weight. It is actually great practice to eat and pick healthy items off of the menu that won’t set you back a step. Here are a few useful tips and tricks that will help you dine out with ease.
Always Do Your Research Before You Go
Anytime you make dinner plans, always check the menus online to make sure they are cohesive to an extent with your eating plan. You can find a few things on the menu to tweak up a bit, and leave your home feeling less stressed about your options when you arrive. Because 1-2 servings of healthy fats are allowed on many different diet plans you can possibly save this portion for your dinner out. Some healthy fats that many restaurants serve are olive oil (for cooking and applied directly to the meals), and avocados used for garnish, or added directly to a meal. Often times, you are allowed up to 5 oz. of meat such as lean ground beef, steak, many seafood options, or chicken breasts.
Don’t be embarrassed to be a little more high maintenance at a restaurant, as it will fare you well in the end. There are a variety of veggies, beans, and fruits that are safe to eat while out, which opens up many options on a menu.
I am not saying be rude, and talk over someone ordering just to get your order in but try and get your order on the waiters sheet first. When you hear your friends ordering their drinks, fries, and other tempting yet unhealthy choices you will be less likely to “cave in” and call it a special night out. Be persistent and confident in your dinner choice by looking ahead and preparing in your mind what your options are to order off of the menu. If you do not have time to prepare ahead, keep it safe with lean meat and veggies cooked with minimal fats, salts, and butters. There are a variety of vegetables that are allowed on many programs, so instead of a baked potato on the side, order an extra serving of veggies instead! Every menu should have this, unless of course you are at a fast food restaurant, which will not fall under your diet plan all together.
Don’t Be Afraid To Be A Little High Maintenance
You are a paying customer at a restaurant, so you should be able to order your food how you want it. Always pay attention to the little things like how the dish is prepared, and if it can be modified or not. What are they using to cook the meats and veggies? How large are the portion sizes? Keep all of this in mind as you look to order, and it will take a lot of stress off of your shoulders when your meal comes. Don’t indulge in too many appetizers (if any at all) because you will be more likely to overeat as the night goes forward. If you decide to have an appetizer as your meal, that may even work in your favor at the end of the night, but make sure it falls within the eating guidelines as many appetizers are loaded with cheese and creams depending on where you are.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Dessert
If you feel pressured for dessert, don’t be afraid! Fresh fruit is always a safe way to go, so it will not be a rule breaker if you save your fruit portions for the day during dinner. It will finish off your meal nicely, and you will not feel like the odd man out, oh and you will feel better than if you were to indulge in a large chocolate cake too. Your body will be thanking you later on!
Some Examples of Healthy Meal Choices While Dining Out:
- 1 5 oz. Steak cooked with a light amount butters and fats (if any at all)
- 1-2 cups of broccoli
- 1 cup of blackberries or fruit for dessert
- 1 5 oz. Salmon Filet cooked with minimal butter, and a squeeze of lemon
- Asparagus (1-2 servings)
- 1 serving of fresh peace slices with cottage cheese for dessert
- 1 5 oz. skinless and boneless chicken breast (seared not fried)
- 1-2 serving of artichokes, or double up on veggies of your choice
- A small cup of fresh strawberries and Greek yogurt for dessert
*If you love salad be mindful of the salad dressing that is used, and ask for a salad with no dressing on it. Instead of the unhealthy dressings, opt for a olive oil and balsamic reduction for a lighter dressing that pleases the pallet just as well. Go easy on the fruit and nuts and as always, leave the croutons to the side.
Always be mindful of what you are ordering and how it is prepared. You should have good feelings throughout your dining experience. Stick to drinking water, as there is no limit to drinking fresh water, as it contains no calories to set you back. If you have the choice, try and sit in an area where it is a little quieter and less chaotic as the more noise there is, the more food is usually ordered. Have fun and enjoy your amazing meal out on the town!