Tips For Dining Out While Staying On Plan
It's easy to stay on track when you are in complete control of what you are consuming. Eating out, on the other hand, can be an annoyingly stressful situation. Trying to eat healthy while watching all your friends order fries and cheeseburgers isn't easy, and I would never pretend that it is. But there is a way to prepare yourself and navigate the menu in a simple way. It's all a matter of being mindful and planning ahead.
Before You Get To The Restaurant
If your group hasn't decided where you're going yet, recommend a few places that you know have healthy options. You'll feel more comfortable and less anxious about ordering.
Look at the menu online ahead of time and track the meal in your Weight Watchers app (or whichever tracking app you're using) before going. If you go in without a plan, you'll be easily tempted by the menu and by what everyone else is ordering.
If you want to "budget" yourself a dessert, do not feel guilty about it. Choose something that sounds the best, pre-track it, and enjoy yourself. One cheesecake is not going to derail everything you've been working for. Remember, this is a lifestyle change, which includes moderation.
Use Instagram search as a way to see what the food looks like if you're having trouble deciding what to order. Go to your Instagram app, click the magnifying glass icon, and search the restaurant by location/places. You can see all the pictures tagged with that location, and you'll have a better visual regarding food options.
At The Restaurant
- If you can, try and order first — this way you won't be tempted by what other people are getting.
- Always try and get some greens on your plate! Even if you order a slice of pizza, have a side salad with it. You can fill up on vegetables and feed your body the nutrition it needs.
- Do not be scared to make special requests! Your health comes first, and you should not dwell about making adjustments that will help you live a longer, happier life. You're not being difficult, you are being mindful. I am the first to ask for no butter, little oil, no cheese, and dressing on the side. No regrets!
- Focus on the people you're with and make the evening about their company, not food. While food brings us together, it doesn't know shit about our personal lives. Don't let it rule yours.
- Drink lots of water — especially if you're also drinking alcohol. It will slow you down a bit and keep you hydrated.
- If you're working on portion control, ask for a to-go box and save half of your food before even digging in. I am willing to bet that most of you who clean your plates do it because the food is just sitting in front of you, not because you are actually that hungry.
- Split dessert if you are craving something sweet, but don't want to go overboard. Someone will want to share with you, I promise.
- If you don't pre-track, take a picture of your meal so you remember exactly what you had and how much of each ingredient.
How To Go About Choosing Food
Let me start by saying, you can order whatever the fuck you want. I am not here to tell you what you can and can not eat, I am just sharing how I typically navigate a menu.
What I Look For:
- Lean meats and proteins, such as shrimp, grilled chicken, beans, salmon, and eggs (or egg whites)
- Vegetables and fruits
- Whole grains
- Words that are usually a better option: baked, steamed, pan-seared, roasted, grilled
What I Avoid:
- Fried food
- Creamy sauces
- Cheese-based foods
- Red meats
- Anything with clearly a ton of added sugar (waffles, pancakes, etc)
- Words that are usually a red flag: crusted, fried, crispy, breaded, battered, buttered, creamy