For everyone that know me (or has worked with me), I am a HUGE believer in food flexibility! When it comes to dieting, I disagree with eliminating food groups and depriving yourself of what you crave or love because that is just plain ol’ restricting.
When I diet, I’m very meticulous when it comes to calculating how much I eat along with choosing what I eat but, if my diet is on point for the week, having 1-2 responsibly chosen FREE MEALS to spend with family and loved ones is certainly not going to curtail my goals especially since I’ve been using this strategy for years and also have a solid understanding of what I’m eating (** this is key **)
In saying that, for the majority of people (especially busy moms) eating out is inevitable and can happen more than just a special occasion. What we order can have social implications and a negative effect on our waistline. With the restaurant world in my blood (and dining out with my husband on a constant basis) I have come up with some simple rules to follow while dining out and staying close to plan as possible. Please know that this is NOT ‘On Plan’ and these suggestions are better choices than other food options.
Simple Rules to Follow:
- Avoid dessert or white sugar
- Avoid alcoholic beverages, pop, juices of milk, try water or club soda and lemon
- Avoid appetizers and table bread
- Choose dishes with fewer ingredients
- Ask for dressings or sauces on the side
- Ask for animal proteins baked
- Ask for vegetables steamed or grilled
- Avoid heavy pasta or rice dishes with sauces
- Opt for a protein, vegetable with a baked potato or steamed rice (if possible)
- Eyeball portion sizes 1. Protein – size of your palm 2. Carbohydrate size of your balm 3. Vegetables or Leafy Greens half your plate
So what about the specialty restaurants? I’ve come up with a list of go-to items for each restaurant category.
Go for – Sushi, Sashimi, rice cucumber rolls, hot or cold tofu, miso soup, soba noodles.
Beware Of – Teriyaki chicken (the sauce is usually very high in sugar, wheat and salt), wheat in the soy sauces (this can cause bloating for people with sensitivities to wheat), sushi rolls that are deep fried.
Go For – Mixed veggies, noodles, scallops, fresh fish, shrimp, chicken with broccoli (sauces on the side). Ask for brown rice if possible.
Beware Of – MSG, deep fried items, fried rice, fried noodles, battered meat, sauces.
Go For – Dal (Lentils), brown rice if possible, steamed fish, as for sauces on the side
Beware Of – Fried Breads and dishes with a lot of think oily sauces
Go For – Rice and Beans, Steamed fish, chicken and vegetables. Sauces on the side
Beware Of – Fried items and oily sauces
Go For – Chicken with steamed veggies or salad with dressing on the side, minestrone or other bean soups. Go for tomato sauces instead of cream and cheese sauces.
Beware Of – Bread, white pasta, cheese sauces and oil sauces
Familiar restaurants like, Jack Astor’s, Milestones, Kelsey’s, Boston Pizza, Canyon Creek or The Keg usually have chicken, steak or baked fish/seafood options as well as salads and grilled vegetable side dishes AND they also cater to special requests.
Don’t fear going out just think smart, plan ahead and make the right choices. Remember…your child will follow your example not your advice.