There are few things that you need to be aware of when eating out. What you eat, what you drink, and how much you eat and drink. Here are some tips to keep you on track with your wellness goals.
Choosing the Restaurant
- Choose restaurants that support local farmers and serve whole sustainable foods.
- Check the menu online and make sure that they have meals that will fit into your dietary needs (i.e. gluten free, paleo etc…)
- Don’t be afraid to call ahead of time to ask questions regarding the menu. It is better than bombarding the wait staff with lots of questions.
- If you are choosing a chain restaurant, look up your meal choices on line. Be really aware of sodium content.
What to Eat
- Build your meal around your source of lean protein (chicken, fish, turkey, lean beef) and your vegetables.
- Start your meal with a broth based soup or salad.
- Ask for the dressing on the side and choose a vinegar based dressing versus a cream based one.
- Choose main dishes that include lots of vegetables such as stir fries and kebobs or ask for a double order of the vegetable of the day with your meal. Beware of extra sauces and butter.
- Ask for the meat to be broiled, baked, pan-seared or blackened.
What to Drink
- Choose water, sparkling water or unsweetened coffee or tea. Ask for a lemon or lime wedge to add some flavor.
- If drinking alcoholic beverages, choose wisely. Depending on the ingredients and the size here are some calorie counts to keep in mind:
- Margarita ~ 400-700 calories
- Apple Martini ~ 250-500 calories
- White or Red Wine ~ 150-350 calories
- Beer (12 oz.) ~100-300 calories (not a good option if your are trying to eat gluten free)
Controlling Your Calories/Portion Sizes
- Choose a small” or “medium” portion if you have the choice.
- If possible, eliminate the excess calories from the bread or chip basket by refusing it. It is very easy to over eat these foods. Keep in mind 6 tortilla chips contain ~150-250 calories depending on how they are cooked.
- Avoid all you can eat buffets.
- Order one or two appetizers with a side salad for your meal or split a meal.
- If your meal is more than you need, ask for a “to go” container up front and immediately put half away.
- Eat slowly and resign from the clean your plate club; when you’ve had enough stop eating.
- Enjoy the company and the environment.