Meeting friends and family out is sometimes unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean we have to make bad food choices because of it. Use this guide to dining out the healthy way.
Birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, weddings basically every and all celebrations are centered around food – and it sometimes lands us right in our favorite restaurant. Normally, it’s great! When we’re watching what we eat, not so much…
I’m going to my favorite spot, Texas Roadhouse, in two Sundays.
Those rolls. That butter. Pray for me.
Under normal circumstances, I tear it up. Aside from the rolls that the Lord himself kneads with his own hands, I order a duke Bud Lite, fried pickles and whatever entree I freaking want. Mashed potatoes will always accompany said entree #loadedordie – I mean I didn’t get to 300lbs by not eating like it was my last meal.
This visit will look very different as I’m walking into TRH armed with the strength only a high protein low carb diet can provide. I have my clean eating go to’s there because this is such a popular restaurant in my area and I am forever finding myself there.
My old low carb meal was a 6oz sirloin with green beans, but I’m limiting red meat because it hurts my stomach. I’m living on the edge and getting cobb salads now instead. Knowing what I’m getting before I get there means I don’t have to look through a menu that’s 98% off limits to me. I win.
I said all that to say this:
Always be prepared.
I live by a few rules when eating clean while dining out and I think you’ll find them as helpful as I do.
#1: Look at the menu before you go
Always know what you’re agreeing to. Every restaurant has a menu online now – scope it out and make sure you can find something. I do this every single time if I’m unfamiliar with the restaurant. If I look and see there’s nothing on the menu I can eat, I simply won’t go. It’s extreme, but I put myself and my health before anything. Period.
#2: Always order water
Simple but it works! Ordering water, or even unsweetened tea, cuts the bloat from carbonation and calories from soda or beer (tear)
#3: Order an appetizer
Ordering from the appetizer menu is a great way to still be social, but trim your portion size without drawing attention to yourself.
#4: If you do order an entree, ask for a to go box
Our stomachs are lined with sensors that tell our brains when we’re hungry or full. Unfortunately, it takes about 20 minutes for the latter to be relayed to our minds from our bellies and a wholllllle lot of extra food could be consumed in 20 minutes. Ask for a box when your meal comes then put half of it away to avoid stuffing yourself.
#5: Put your fork down between bites
This is a tip that can be used at home too. Putting your fork down and chewing mindfully allows plenty of time for your belly to tell your brain it’s had enough to eat, completely avoiding stuffing yourself.
Next Sunday when everyone else is enjoying the very food I want, I’ll be eating only the food I need. It’s okay to splurge sometimes but when you know you shouldn’t be, prepare and do the best you can.
Us, 1. Restaurant 0!