I try to preview the menu. If it's a chain restaurant I plan using the posted nutrition info, if it's not then I plan based on the description of how the item is prepared and decide ahead of time if I need to ask for a modification. It also helps to know ahead of time so I can plan my other meals around what I expect to eat that night.
I picture my plate divided in 3; protein, carbs,fat. then I picture portion sizes; deck of cards, golf ball, etc. I ask the waitress not to bring bread to the table (so i'm not tempted). then I remember veggies;veggies;veggies and fill no plate. also, ask for a to go box before your meal comes and place oversized portions in it when the meal arrives. best of luck.
Fitness Minutes: (2,249)
338 9/30/13 11:29 A
As I rarely eat in chain restaurants which have their nutritional info posted, I try to stick to dishes I really enjoy that are likely to be low cal. For me, that means SEAFOOD!! I LOVE seafood, hubby doesn't, so I eat fish or shellfish when I go out. I don't always stick to grilled or steamed -- am ok with baked, and love sauteed -- but I do avoid deep fried at all cost.
I am now learning that even very light protein dishes usually come with high-cal starches, so am learning to ask for a double helping of veg instead of the mashed potatoes or rice pilaf!
Fitness Minutes: (15,696)
1,078 9/30/13 10:55 A
I look online at nutrition info online if I can, and if not, I read the menu super carefully when I'm there. I ALWAYS ask for my veggies to be steamed with no added butter/oil and usually do a double side of those if I have to choose 2 sides.
Salads I modify to take away the cheese, croutons, dressing on the side, grilled chicken, etc.
And if I go out for coffee, if I get something other than my typical black coffee, I'll do sugar free syrup, no whip, and fat free or soy milk.
Fitness Minutes: (34,007)
1,215 9/30/13 8:49 A
Try to avoid the bread basket, too many carbs for me.
Checking the menu and nutritional information ahead of time is definitely helpful and motivating for me too. If that doesn't work, I try to just pick what appears the healthiest based on vegetable content, nothing fried, and lack of buttery or cheesy sauces. Sometimes ordering a few side items or a cup of soup and salad is a good option. I try to pack up extra food and "measure with my eyes" for how much I might eat if I was at home. No matter the restaurant, you almost always get served about 1.5 to 2 meals worth of food for every entree.
Oh, I also ask that they don't serve me bread or chips if I am not with a group and if I am, I push these items away from my part of the table and try not to look at them. If I decide to indulge, I count how much I have so I know I can log it later.
Fitness Minutes: (0)
1,307 9/30/13 8:01 A
Watching the sauces added to foods whether that be oil/butter, a sauce in a dish, dressings. Portion sizes If a high calorie main dish pick a lower calorie side to help with volume to feel full
Another thing I like to do is order appetizers or a la carte items as the meal. Many of the non-fried appetizers or a la carte items at restaurants are lower in calorie and make a tasty meal on their own or paired together in some fashion.
ask for a container for your food WHEN you order it so that you can put half the food in it before you get started eating!! I always do that and usually end up with about 2/3 of the meal as left-overs.
Fitness Minutes: (15,786)
1,611 9/29/13 3:38 P
Salads with some kind of grilled, or low fat protein can be had almost everywhere. I will ask for lemon slices instead of salad dressing, or if it's a Mexican place, put salsa on salad instead of dressing. Skip the bread basket. Decide if I'm going to have dessert or a cocktail and stick to that decision (one or the other, and just one of either!). Drink lots of water with the meal. If it's a sit-down restaurant, I'll ask for a broth-based soup as an appetizer. That way I have something when others are nibbling. And don't be afraid to ask for substitutions, like steamed veggies instead of a baked potato, that kind of thing.
Fitness Minutes: (19,684)
1,155 9/29/13 3:33 P
I try to check their website to review the nutrition content before I go. The other day, though, we changed our mind on where to go when we were already out and I didn't have the info I would have liked. I chose a cup of soup and 1/2 a turkey sandwich. (It was lunchtime.) I would usually have chosen a side salad instead of the sandwich, but salad was part of my dinner for the night and the sandwich sounded good. Well, my lunch was close to 1000 calories with tons of sodium, so I did cut back a bit on the rest of the day, and made sure I was on track the next 2 days.
It could have been worse. I could have had a burger and fries, but I was OK with what I had. I look forward to hearing what others do.
As much as we all try to behave and cook our meals at home, the reality is that many of us eat out at least once a week. What are tricks you've learned for keeping it healthy when eating out?
I'll start: I will ask for a to-go container to arrive when my meal does. I place half of my meal in the container before I even start eating. It controls the portions and keeps me from "just nibbling" at the rest.
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.