Let's face it, eating out is not always the healthiest option with things filled with sodium, fat, tons of calories, and hidden sugar...and just when you think you are eating healthy by getting the nice salad, sometimes those are THE WORST options to choose from. So, now you're saying, "Well, then…what in the heck do I choose?"
So, how do you take the stress out of eating out and actually enjoy it? Let's try and keep the stress of eating out at a minimum, here are some tips from Tosca Reno's Stripped book to keep you from losing your mind when you eat out!
First, you need a game plan! Obviously, when you are trying to lose weight and get to your goal, you should really avoid eating out as much as possible, because we all know that once you get into that setting, there are SO many temptations all around us! You need to be in control of your choices and not be controlled by the food around you!
1. Develop an "I Don't Have to Eat It All!" Mindset. Make up your mind before you go that you don't have to "get the most bang-for-your-buck" or join the "clean your plate club". KEEP YOUR GOAL IN MIND!
2. Satisfy Hunger Only - Don't Gorge.
Eat for the purpose of satisfying your hunger, but NO MORE!
3. Start Small and Green
Start your meal with a salad, without dressing. Use a spritz of lemon or some balsamic vinegar.
4. Broth is Best
When there is no Clean salad option, have a broth-based soup.
5. No Bread, Please!
Forgo the breadbasket, don't even let it come to the table…remember this is not helping you achieve your weight loss goal.
6. Clean Cooking Techniques Rock!
Look for entree options featuring steamed or raw veggies and grilled, baked or roasted meats or fish. If you don't see those options on the menu, ASK YOUR SERVER to do this. Usually they are MORE than willing to cook it this way. You can't go wrong with a grilled chicken and steamed veggies. But remember NO sauce or butter. Don't be fooled by the "low fat" or "fat free" tag lines. That doesn't always mean healthy!
7. Portion Control Is In.
Take a good look at your plate. How much food is really on there? Probably too much…ask for a doggie bag and split it in half before you even start eating!
This is the practice of chewing each mouthful a minimum of 25 times. When you do this, it allows your body to recognize that you are slowly becoming full and satisfied. (I know this is nearly impossible when you have kids and you never know what the next moment holds). I am extremely bad at this…I eat entirely way too fast! This is definitely something I need to work on!
9. Zero Tolerance
As hard as it may be, you've got to say NO to the alcohol. Remember alcohol is made from sugar and this can derail you in the most powerful way. Have sparkling water with lemon or lime slices instead.
Remember your end goal…it is to shed those last pounds or reach that goal you dream about. If you can't resist something sweet at the end of dinner, ask for a dish of fresh fruit and leave it at that!
If you really doubt your ability to resist restaurant offerings, then try this little trick called, "pre-eating"! Then when you are at a restaurant or social event you don't need to worry about what you'll order and you can focus on socializing!
If you just can't say no to the dessert table, then pack yourself a few clean cookies in a Ziploc bag and pull them out when everyone is having coffee. Remember the commitment you've made, don't let a couple sugar laden cookies derail you and create a chain reaction that will make you regret your choices.
Become familiar with menus and if you end up having to go through the drive-thru make sure you know the specs on what you are ordering. Never super size and make food choices by ordering grilled chicken and a side salad. Cut up the chicken and place on a salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing or low fat balsamic.
This is probably one of the most difficult things to manage, following a healthy and social lifestyle. Surround yourself with family and friends that will support you in your healthy choices you make and who aren't going to sabotage your efforts. Instead of going out drinking or to a restaurant, here are some alternatives:
|Go for a HIKE!|
- Meet a friend at a gym
- Have a game night at home with clean snacks
- Volunteer together at a local charity
- Organize a kickball or softball game in your neighborhood or with the kids
- Take a hike with the family or friends
- Enjoy the outdoors with something that doesn't involve lots of eating
- Go to the beach (getting in your bathing suit will keep you from eating poorly)
Eating clean and creating a healthy lifestyle doesn't mean you are boring or not able to be social anymore. There is so much more to life than eating and drinking. Live outside the box and you will have people wondering what you are doing because your energy and personality are on fire!!