1. Have you planned your day of eating accordingly?
If you know you will be eating out for one meal- plan lighter meals for the remaining meals that day. Hydrate extra in preparation for eating out.
2. Know before you get there!
Have you looked at the menu before you get there? Always select 2-3 menu items that will work for you prior to getting to restaurant. Stick to them and don’t waiver. Avoid any menu items that are described as creamy, crisp, sauced, buttery, au gratin, scalloped, sautéed. Select items that are broiled, grilled, steamed, baked, poached… Do the Mental pre-order! If there aren’t any options that are appropriate then choose another restaurant!
3. Choose a restaurant that caters to children.
This will make it easier to order a smaller portion meal. If able- order from the children’s menu! Certain appetizers can also be excellent choices for your entrée. Indulge in a shrimp cocktail!
4. Sit in a quiet spot.
People who sit in less distracting areas without TVs, commotion or windows tend to eat less. You won’t lose track of how much you are eating.
5. Ask the waiter to skip the bread basket or chips.
Ask for raw vegetables if available.
Skip Fancy drinks.
Avoid blended Pina coladas, daiquiris,
margaritas and other exotic mixed drinks. These drinks are filled with hidden, empty calories. If you want an alcoholic beverage opt for a glass of wine, martini or spirit mixed with crystal light. Remember- no eating and drinking at the same time.
7. Don’t be persuaded by menu descriptions.
Avoid items that use words such as “velvety” or “just like grandma’s”. They play on your sense of nostalgia and may lead you into ordering an item that may not be the best choice. Next time you’re out to eat see how many adjectives you can find on the menu!
8. Always be the first to order.
You have already decided on what you will eat before you get there. Order first and don’t be negatively persuaded by others orders to change your mind. Be the food trendsetter and order healthy choices!
9. It’s ok to be a “picky orderer”.
Select your main protein and then select healthier side items to balance out your plate. Be specific in how you want your meal prepared. It is fine to ask for substitutions for lower fat foods. Go for grilled, baked, broiled, steamed items first always. If your food arrives wrong, don’t be afraid to send it back to be corrected.
10. You are in control of your portions.
Even though you’re eating out and someone else is preparing your food, you can still be in control. Request for half the portion to be served and half for take home. Try ordering an appetizer instead of a main entrée and add a side salad. Usually the vegetable servings are small.
Ask for double or even triple serving of the veggies!
11. Be wary of salads.
Many times salads have hidden calories in them. Prepared salads such as tuna fish, egg salad, potato and pasta salads have high caloric values. Crunchy toppings such as croutons are not wise choices. Look for raw vegetables and sprinkle nuts or seeds on top for crunch. Creamy dressings are a “no-no”. Balsamic and clear dressings are better choices. Always ask for dressing on the side. Use your fork and dip the salad into the dressing. You will use considerably less that way.
12. You’re not in an eating race.
Eat slowly, take your time and enjoy yourself. Slow eaters tend to eat smaller amounts and have quicker satisfaction.
13. Skip dessert.
Don’t end your dining experience with heavy unwarranted calories. If desired, choose fruit or sorbet.
14. Bon Apetit and enjoy your meal!