Going out to eat doesn’t need to ruin your nutrition plan. Here at Strive Fitness and Performance we educate our clients in this area.
Sometimes you need to be proactive and ask the waiter to skip the pre-meal rolls, bread or chips.
Don’t try and be super human let the chips stare at you. You will give in.
If your goal is not to eat the chips ask the waiter to take them away so there is a physical barrier between your hand and the basket of chips.
If you do decide chips are best for you rig right consume mindfully.
Enjoy the texture, feel the crunch, savor the salsa.
Be careful though if you come in hungry.
In that instance, you might have a meal of chips before your real meal even hits the heat lamps.
Starving? Big glass of water and skip the chips.
Now, how do we tackle this whole eating out thing.
1. Skip the Bread Basket
Just like the chip basket, skip the bread basket too. Let’s face it. Bread baskets are pretty damn tempting. Especially, when you are really hungry and WANT FOOD NOW. As soon as you sit down, specify that you don’t want any bread, this way you have no choice but to avoid it until your meal comes.
2. Go Bunless
Unless you are eating at a health-oriented restaurant, chances are if you order a sandwich or wrap that it’s going to come on some sort of big, processed, refined roll or bread.
A simple solution to this is to ask to have your burger without the bun. This simple trick is going to save you a couple hundred calories.
Also, many restaurants including Jimmy Johns have lettuce wraps or like Jimmy likes to call them “unwiches.”
3. Make the Swap
Does your burger come with fries or chips? Could you swap them out for vegetables or a healthier side on the menu.
Scour the menu and find the “sides” section. Is there anything you can swap out that is going to help you win?
There are countless ways to swap in healthier options for processed carbs and starches. For example, ask for a side salad or steamed veggies instead of white rice or mashed potatoes. Typically you will already be getting a vegetable side with a meal like this so you can just ask for double vegetables.
If you are eating breakfast or brunch out, keep in mind that fresh fruit can usually be swapped for toast or breakfast potatoes.
If the dish you order comes with veggies that you don’t really like, ask for another kind instead so you’ll actually eat them.
Don’t be scared to ask for additional veggie toppings on something like a salad or omelet; this will help fill you up on the healthy stuff and eat less of the calorie-dense foods.
4. Dressing on the Side
Don’t let your healthy salad turn into a calorie bomb by letting someone else control the most calorie dense portion of the salad, the dressing. Always ask for dressing on the side so you can control the amount.
5. Salad First
Research has shown that those we who eat a salad before the meal end up eating less. SUPER hungry? Order a side salad right off the bat and you won’t sabotage yourself with the bread basket or other calorie-laden appetizers. As an added bonus you will get a couple more servings of veggies. Remember, dressing on the side.
6. Best Options
Most restaurants have a protein, usually meat, vegetables and a starch. Opt for grilled or baked over “crispy” or “breaded.”
Just worked out or are going to workout hard today? Keep the starch.
No workout planned today? Opt for double veggies.
Breakfast is typically a safe option at most restaurants too. Omelets, frittatas, fried eggs, or even oatmeal are all great choices.
Awareness is the key here. The restaurant’s job is to SERVE you. You can eat healthfully while eating out, it simply takes a little detective work. Make it a game. Make it fun. Get curious.
If you need help being more aware with your nutrtion, reach out and enter our FREE 6 WEEK SMART CARB CHALLENGE.