Eating out at restaurants is fun:
- We do not have to prepare/shop for the food
- We do not have to cook the food
- We do not have to clean off the table and clean the dirty dishes
- In many cases, the food tastes better than we are able to cook up on our own
- The ambiance/socialization makes for a really good time
Some people hardly eat out at all but others may head to restaurants for lunches and/or dinners multiple times a week. For those that do engage in restaurant eating fairly frequently AND are In a weight control mode, there needs to be a strategy/approach to restaurant eating that is compatible for shedding the weight.
Here are some suggestions:
- Do NOT engage in “fast food” restaurant eating: Even the “burger off the bun” or a “chicken salad” are not compatible with losing weight. Here is a really good rule of thumb: Any place with a drive through window should be avoided as well as any place that you line up like a cafeteria and get your food off an assembly line.
- Choose restaurants that definitely offer protein and vegetable choices. Italian and Mexican restaurants tend to be limited in their offerings for these compatible types of meals.
- Inform the wait staff to NOT bring the basket of bread, the chips/salsa or any other before meal free accompaniment.
- Check out the menu online before you head out to the restaurant so you have a sort of game plan in mind to enjoy a great meal but not derail your entire week of diligent weight loss work
- Do NOT order drinks/cocktails or if you do, limit yourself to one drink
- Do not be tempted by the dessert tray…best to tell them not to even bring it out to the table
Having a great night out enjoying a restaurant meal is fun and pleasurable. We can still do this and not sabotage our weight control efforts. By being healthy, this will allow us to enjoy many more nights out with our friends, family and loved ones. Stay mindful and focused!
Any Billy Joel fans out there? Here is his take on “Italian Restaurants”….enjoy!