Here is how I use to eat out. Plain salad with no yummy goodies like cheese, bacon or dressing. Then I would snack off of my dinner company’s plate of fries and nachos. I was just never satisfied with a salad ( no wonder if you look at the way I was eating it) but I was too scared to order a burger and fries in fear I would eat it all hungry or not.
So I turned to practice. Practice is kinda scary, because with food, it is putting all the good stuff in front of you and telling yourself to just a have few bites. That is not just some silly rule to try to follow, that is effort my friend.
Anyways, I want to share with you my best tips for eating out and my latest rule I use from time to time that breaks all the rules.
Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.
Just because you do not have access to exactly what you want to eat does not mean you still cannot make good choices! Just because you cannot eat in accordance to whatever way you choose to eat to live a healthy lifestyle does not mean you have to throw it out the window. I mean, you can from time to time, its called life, but you can still be “good” without having to be “perfect.”
Be Aware of Nutrient Content.
Restaurants have nutritional information now (if it is not on the menu, you can ask) so you at least have a better idea of what you are really eating. At restaurants I try to make my choices as close to 600 calories or less as possible. It may seem like a lot but not when most meals have 1000 or over! If you are hungry and you knew that a grande, Starbucks Frappacino had more calories than an In N Out burger (bun and cheese included) wouldn’t you go get that burger? Choose wisely by using this formula if you eat out often.
- protein + veggies/fat + alcoholic beverage OR starch = meal out
- keep the high fat + high sugar combination to a minimum
This is a great formula to use to help control consumption because often time we want something that feels like a treat when eating out. The key is to realizing that we do not need to have everything to feel satisfied. Will you ever go out to eat and order a burger, beer and fries? Yes, of course you may at some point but remember you do have these options most of the time.
- Order your meal and ask for what you want.
- Most places will take specific recommendations.
- Order a burger with no fries.
- Order no oil or butter on your veggies.
- Ask for chicken to be grilled not fried.
- Stay away from breaded items.
- Use half the dressing for your salad.
- Order from the lighter side, skinnylicious, or healthy menu options. Often they are either small portions, a couple high fat ingredients have been removed, or they are just cooked with less butter and oil. Still amazingly tasty.
- When ordering a salad ask to remove ONE thing, not everything (crispy onions, cheese or bacon). I take away that one thing, which is usually high in calories and fat, and still get to enjoy all the other goodies.
- Be aware of nutrient content. You can easily have a days worth of calories in one meal.
The new rule of eating.
Sometimes just let yourself be.
A few weeks ago I had sangria, salad, pizza and dessert all at the same meal and that kinda breaks all the rules I just talked about but in the moment I actually felt a little silly about all my eating out rules because I was simply enjoying good food and good company. It comes down to being consistent and conscious with your choices. You indulge today? Indulge a little less tomorrow. One bad meal will break you like one good meal will not make you.