It’s going to happen…..
You can meal prep all week but at some point you are going eat out. It happens to me at least once a week. Whether it’s a date night, meeting with friends, or a day out running errands.
So how do you stay on track while eating out?
1. Have a Plan.
If you know you are going to go out than plan your other meals as lighter meals. If you know what restaurant you are going to then look ahead at the menu and do a little research on healthy options that restaurant may have. Most restaurants now offer nutrition information online.
2. Know how your food is prepared.
Avoid things that are fried or heavily sauced. Instead look for items that are sauted or steamed. If there is a sauce ask for it on the side and ask what is in it.
3. Order a Balanced Meal
Make sure you are ordering a protein, whole grains and a healthy portion if vegetables. Keep the meals simple and avoid additional ingredients.
When ordering a salad make sure the ingredients are healthy vegetables. Avoid croutons and extra items that are not needed. Ask for a low-fat dressing or a simple vinaigrette and ask for the dressing on the side so you can control the amount you are using. Often there is an unnecessary amount of dressing on the salad adding extra calories you don’t need
For sandwiches, order it on whole grain bread and again that there is a lean protein such as chicken breast and the toppings are veggies. Avoid extra sauces and use ketchup, mustard, or light mayo if available.
4. Take some home
Something I personally started doing was asking for a separate plate or a to go box right away. Most restaurants double or even triple the serving size needed for one person. Ask for another plate or ask for half of it to packaged right away so that you are not tempted to over eat. I know if food is sitting in front of me I am going to eat it whether I am hungry or not. Usually leading to feeling bloated and overly stuffed.
5. Keep your drink simple
Order water with your meal. Avoid any soda or additional calories.
If you are out for a drink then keep your drink simple. Don’t order the fancy specialty drinks. For example a Pina Coloda is usually over 400 calories. Stick to a Vodka and water with some fruit or a red wine.
Restaurants with Healthy Options
Here are some healthy restaurant items that you can use as a guide.
Applebee’s has a lighter fare menu that gives you many options to choose from.
Savory Cedar Salmon = 540 Cals
Thai Shrimp Salad = 390 Cals
One of my favorites but all of the carbs and sauces! You need to be very careful here but they also have a lighter fare menu option.
Citrus Chicken Sorrento = 560 Cals
Baked Tilapia with Shrimp = 360 Cals
Mixed Green Salad with Grilled Salmon = 560 Cals
Renegade Top Sirloin with Veggies and Salad = 590
Hopefully this helps give you an idea of what to look for when going out and being able to have fun while staying healthy!
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I do love the restaurants that post the low cal meals for people like me who tend to go waaaaaaaay overboard while eating out.
Yes it makes it so much easier!
I love that you included suggestions at my favorite restaurant – Olive Garden! 😉
that’s crazy that a pina colada has that many calories! definitely order the water! lol
I need to get better about this. Eating out always catches up with me.
It can be difficult for people to know what to eat when eating out. Especiaqlly when we are just getting started! This is super helpful!
Take some home is the best tip! Even if you got crappy food and didn’t inhale it all, it’s still a better choice.
I try to look at the menu ahead of time before going to I can prepare. Great tips!