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    PRETTYPITHY   72,287
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Tips for Good Restaurant Eatin'

Friday, March 22, 2013

I've managed to lose weight this year even while eating out in restaurants. Restaurants have always been a trouble zone for me. I've had extreme difficulty policing my intake. In the past, I've used restaurant meals as an excuse to binge. But I think I've finally mastered the ins and outs of eating out.

1. I don't eat out as a form of entertainment. In the past, when my husband and I were going to have a date, it would center around dinner. So would time spent with friends or family. Lately, I've been making different kinds of dates, whether it is walking or shopping or going to the botanical gardens (a recent date my husband and I did). The world is full of museums and shops and riverfronts. There are plenty of places to go and things to do that are not just going to a restaurant.

2. When I do eat out, I try my best to steer the choice of restaurant. I know some places are easier to eat healthfully at than others. Salads. Sushi. Soup.

3. Even when someone else chooses the place and it does not have a lot of healthy options, I'm still in control of what I eat. Almost every place offers some sort of salad.

4. I aim for the healthiest menu item but if I fall short of this aim, I still exercise portion control.

5. It is a lot easier to exercise portion control when you drink a lot of water. Sometimes I order both water and iced tea. I'll drink several glasses of both with my meal.

6. It is okay to ask for substitutions. Even if the place refuses, you've announced your goal for the meal. Example: the other day I ordered a cold vermicelli salad with veggies. I said "Can I have more veggies than noodles?" The waitress said yes but when the dish arrived, it still had tons of noodles. Yet, I ate fewer of them than I otherwise would have because I had committed at the outset of the meal to do so.

7. When possible, I look at the menu online and decide what I'm going to order in advance. This helps me stick to my guns and prevents me from being pulled off course by a yummy looking special, or seeing a delicious looking plate going to another diner.

8. Dinner is generally alcohol free. It is much easier to stay on course when you're clear thinking. Plus, you don't have to worry about the extra calories. Having a few drinks cues me to "let my hair down" -- something that ensures I'll be more lax in my food choices.

The hardest part about eating out healthfully is MAKING THE COMMITMENT TO STICK WITH YOUR GOALS. I've made excuses before about how difficult it was to eat healthy out. But when my MIND is on board, it is amazing what I can do.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
MIRMIUM 3/24/2013 6:30PM

    Great tips! My husband and I went to sushi today and what should have been a reasonably healthy meal (nigiri and maki) turned into the owners giving us free tempura and an extra roll! It's a little mom and pop place and the owners are really nice/know us.

It was delicious but damn! lol

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UNICORN212 3/24/2013 5:14PM

    Great ideas!

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SPUNKYDUCKY 3/24/2013 1:42AM

    Absolutely wonderful blog and you are correct - the choices are always with us and up to us...

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SMILE2HAPPINESS 3/23/2013 7:37PM

    Love it! Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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GORIANA 3/23/2013 11:56AM


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OPTIMIST1948 3/23/2013 10:52AM

    Your outline is terrific. I would only add 9. Increase activity and reduce calorie intake before dinner. This way if you do go over youve got some cushion and calorie burn to offset it.

I particularly like checking the menus online. Makes it much easier to avoid the minefields!

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RAINTHIEF 3/22/2013 9:51PM

    Great tips!! Eating out is the kicker for me. I know to do all the above things, I'm just not always consistent. I'm getting better!

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MJ7DM33 3/22/2013 8:31PM

  emoticon Thx for sharing!

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BABYSOX 3/22/2013 6:22PM

    I bet this has now become a healthy habit for you. Being consistent in restaurant choices keeps us on the right path.

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NAPPIGURL 3/22/2013 5:37PM

    Awesome tips! I'll definitely be referring back to this blog once lent is over & I can eat out again. Thank you so much for sharing!

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BIGPAWSUP 3/22/2013 4:40PM

    Absolutely awesome!!! This is not only great advice but a very solid plan!!! No wonder you are doing so well.

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KIMPY225 3/22/2013 4:34PM

    emoticon emoticon

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Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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