Making good choices that don’t derail the hard work you put in or set you into binge-mode isn’t as challenging as a lot of people persuade themselves it to be.
Here are 6 things I do to stay on top of my food game when dining out:
1) Stick with unsweetened beverages and/or water. Occasionally I’ll add a green juice to my meal, but I’m typically just drinking a few glasses of water and enjoying conversation and the main course.
2) If complimentary bread or chips and salsa are part of the experience, I simply decide to have a small piece of bread (instead of a whole loaf) or just a handful of chips (rather than all of them, then indulging in another refill… which I’ve done and regretted many-a-time).
3) Decide on a protein, then build around it with vegetables and carbs based on what’s offered in the menu. Most restaurants offer entrees that look like this, and if you don’t see one on the menu it’s usually as easy as asking – ala carte ordering isn’t unordinary anymore.
4) If a dish is covered in sauce, and topped with cheese, I’ll usually request ‘no cheese’ to help bring down the fat ratio.
5) For heavier dressings on salads, like blue cheese and ranch, I ask for mine on the side to spare a few extra grams of fat with my meal.
6) If the meal isn’t one of those intentional fun food outings, eating half and saving the rest for a later meal is no stranger to me. I’m not afraid of a good leftover.
If the meal is a celebratory or intentionally fun-food meal, I eat whatever I feel like, knowing that I’m not eating that way every meal, every day, and simply being back in my normal groove afterwards (fun food is my equivalent to what some would call a cheat meal, or food that is off limits). I indulge in a heavier meal, often times including a glass of wine and possibly dessert, once every week. And although the rest of my meals throughout the week are not always planned and prepared ahead of time, I’ve developed a good groove that works great for my lifestyle that doesn’t leave me feeling stranded and left with limited all or nothing type food choices. The 6 tips mentioned above are what help create enough balance that I don't fret over social outings and eating away from home.
Remembering that it is the accumulative of all the little things that create the bigger outcomes is important when it comes to our nutritional habits. For those looking for guidance and coaching, I can be reached through the contact form here on the website as I am taking new clients periodically.