Following a weight loss plan can be challenging, but you keep it under control at home and work. Restaurants, however, present another challenge. How can you enjoy meals out with friends or co-workers, without wrecking your dietary plans and weight loss goal? The key is knowing how to “hack” your order, because restaurant food is notoriously high in calories and even the wrong nutrient balance.
Don’t arrive starving. If you show up for a dinner date feeling ravenous, you’re more likely to give into temptation. Snack on some fiber-rich, fresh fruit or vegetables before you go, and drink a full glass of water before ordering your meal.
Pause and remember your goals. Before you walk into the restaurant, pause briefly and remind yourself of your fitness or weight loss goal. Often we give in to temptation simply because we’ve allowed our priorities to move to the back of our minds.
Avoid liquid calories. It’s common, in social situations, for everyone to enjoy a round or two of cocktails before dinner. The problem with this is that alcoholic drinks are often packed with sugar and extra calories. Water is obviously the best choice, but if you choose to imbibe for a special occasion, make it a light beer or one glass of wine. Avoid sweetened cocktails, because they often rack up 500 calories or more.
Beware the restaurant portions. Restaurant portions are often enormous, especially for dishes based in pasta or other cheap, filling ingredients. Ask similarly health-minded friend if they would like to split an entree. Or, ask your server to box up half of your meal before you even dig in.
Avoid “FOMO” thinking. It’s hard not to develop a “fear of missing out” when faced with so many delicious, tempting options. You might feel the urge to try a little bit of everything, from appetizers to desserts to the offered bite of a friend’s entree. Keep in mind that this restaurant probably won’t vanish next week, so you can always come back and try something else next time.
If you’re struggling to reach your weight loss goal, or you need help staying on task, schedule an appointment with us. We can provide the professional advice, encouragement, and support that you need to succeed.