Back when I routinely yo-yo dieting and followed ridiculous weight-loss plans, being “on” a diet meant the end of my social life. I’d refuse to go out with friends or out to dinner with my husband. Not only could I not handle the temptation of the mixed drinks and bread basket, but I felt like making healthy, fat-loss choices would be nearly impossible no matter where I went. Fortunately, now I know better.
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t go out to eat all that often but that’s really because I prefer the healthy, simple food I prepare for myself to that which is prepared for me at a restaurant. I don’t fear eating out and it I now know that eating out doesn’t mean having to take a night off from my fat loss goals. I can make great, fat loss choices no matter where I end up.
For example – a couple weeks ago I enjoyed dinner out at an Asian fusion restaurant. TONS of great fat loss options! I always avoid meats that are breaded or fried and look for baked, grilled or broiled proteins. I’ll usually skip the starch (potato, pasta, rice) and request double veggies, even if I have to pay a little extra. On this particular night, I enjoyed an insanely delicious dish of scallops with veggies over a corn puree. Corn is a starchy vegetable so I only enjoyed a couple of bites.
A couple weeks before that I was at an out-of-town conference and had to choose a restaurant within walking distance. I ended up at a cute little brew pub that had a fantastic burger menu. Right up my fat loss alley! I ordered a bison burger with avocado and bacon, asked that they hold the bun and substitute my fries for a side salad. It was absolutely delicious!!
Not long before that I went to a barbeque joint with my husband and his friend. Sure, the corn bread sounded good but it wasn’t more appealing than reaching my goals! I ordered a steak that came with a choice of two sides. I passed on the corn bread and mashed potatoes and instead got a double side of steamed broccoli.
One last example for ya! I was visiting home and took my grandmother out for lunch. The menu was pretty limited but I knew I could find something that would work. I ordered a green salad with beets and goat cheese. I asked them not to include the candied nuts (packed with sugar!!) and to please add chicken and put the dressing on the side. I was satisfied and left without any guilt (or hunger!).
My point is this: do not stress about going out. Enjoy lunches and dinners with your friends. Let your spouse treat you to a nice evening out. But do not let every trip to a restaurant be an excuse to blow off your goals and go to town on the bread basket. You can enjoy great meals and feel totally satisfied without going totally off the rails. I promise!!!