Do you find it difficult to follow your diet plan when life demands that you eat at a restaurant? Below are some of the tricks that I use, hopefully some of them will resonate with you and help you stay on track.
Choose Compliant Restaurants
- Start by looking within your immediate area to find restaurants that offer meals that are compliant with your meal plan.
- Find a couple of low-budget restaurants, a medium-price location for a better quality menu and finally a restaurant for a romantic evening or business lunch.
- Find the nutritional information on-line.
- Review their menu so you can plan questions about various selections.
- Even McDonalds/Wendy’s has healthier selections these days – Opt for the grilled chicken rather than the breaded version.
Customize the Meal
- Avoid dishes that are carbohydrate heavy, sauce-laden or have no vegetable.
- Ask for the meal to be customized.
- You can order items that aren’t exactly on the menu. I often ask for the salad to be prepared with spinach even when its not listed
- Request the cut from the children’s menu. The steak on the adult menu may be 8oz — which equates to 2 servings. You may be able to get a 6oz steak if you order from the child’s menu. You can mix the adult meal accompaniments with the kid’s size steak.
- Look for items that drive up the calorie cost of the meal:
- Ask for all sauces, dressings & stuffing on the side.
- Ask your server for details of the meal, and check for unexpected breading, sauces and/or sugar additives.
- Include a complete protein in your order: Egg, lean meat (chicken, steak), or fish.
- Make sure the meal includes veggies, preferable steamed or raw
- Drop the starchy carbs from your order:
- Replace rice, white potato, fries with a salad or other vegetable.
- Send the bread basket away. Typically you’re hungry when you sit down at the table and you can quickly add lots of calories before the meal is even ordered.
If you have tips that have worked for you and weren’t highlighted in this post, I’d love to hear from you.