Monday, February 25, 2019

4 Tips for Eating Out with Success!

Hello Everyone!

This past weekend I went out for a little post-birthday dinner to Fridays with some friends and it occurred to me that our outing would make a great blog post! Eating out while you’re following a fitness program or just trying to be healthy is hard! It is far easier to plan and stay disciplined in the comfort of your own home or lunch bag. When eating out, you don’t have the benefit of knowing how your food was prepared and even when you make a good choice, the portions are often 2-3x what you should eat in one sitting. I implemented some tips that I wanted to share for eating out with success!

1.    Choose the Restaurant on Purpose.

You have the power here, especially if the meal is in celebration of you, like a birthday dinner. You are asked where you would like to go. Try to stick to healthy restaurants, or eateries that offer healthy menu options. Now, of course, it isn’t always the case where you can control the location choice, but in those cases, I would honestly defer to tip #4.

2.    Research Online Menu.

Now that you’ve chosen the restaurant, it’s time to scope out what they have to offer. Many restaurants post their menus online and I highly encourage that you take a look and plan out your meal in advance. The worst is being rushed to order by that irritable waiter tapping his pen against his notepad. On the other hand, you don’t want to be the “picky” friend that delays the order because you’re taking too long to decide. For me, I load my meal into MyFitnessPal so I can easily track the macros. It allows you to search menu items from nearby restaurants so I can add them to my food diary hassle free. Planning your food choices beforehand will lessen the stress and set you up for success.

3.    Don’t Be Afraid to Change it Up.

I don’t want you to feel like eating out is limited to ordering a boring salad. Pre-planning also enables you to choose a meal that you can customize or make substitutions. Don’t be afraid to ask if you can swap out the loaded mashed potatoes for lemon-butter broccoli (which is what I did at Fridays). And don’t ever let anyone make you feel like a bother for switching sides, getting sauce on the side, or asking to eliminate an ingredient entirely! After all, you are the patron and you have the right to customize your experience.

4.    Do the Best You Can.

As I mentioned in tip #1, it is not always feasible to control the restaurant you go to and sometimes, even then, the “healthy options” are still equaling up to thousands of calories. What do you do then, Maya??? The best you freakin’ can! Remember, eating out is not a regular practice for you and you’re celebrating! I subscribe to the school of thought that says, don’t deny yourself and enjoy in moderation. For example, I ordered shrimp cocktail (±200 calories) and spinach and artichoke dip appetizers, which was shared between three people. My entrĂ©e was the Sizzling Chicken & Shrimp (listed at over 1,000 calories!) but I swapped out the mashed potatoes for broccoli and didn’t eat both servings of meat that came with the meal. I was prepared for what I was going to eat as well as the caloric values. I made sure I was consistent in my workout schedule and meal plan for the week so that this one indulgence would not make or break me. Think about it as one blip on a radar screen, the scanner goes around smoothly not finding any anomalies and then “beep” there’s one, but then after that everything goes radio silent again.

These 4 tips for eating out with success are sure to help keep you focused while enjoying life! What are some ways you stay on track when eating out? Drop a comment below!

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