There is nothing more challenging for someone trying to lose weight than having to go to a restaurant.
Restaurants are places of fine food and drink, often full of temptation, leaving you wondering what you plan of action is.
No need to worry, we've got your back with our restaurant eating guide. Stay tuned for a pdf link in the future:
STEP 1: DO YOUR RESEARCH
This one is pretty straightforward but extremely crucial to set yourself up for success.
Which restaurant are you going to?
Check our their website, most restaurants now post their menu and sometimes even nutrition information if they're a larger chain.
Knowing what your options are ahead of time will prevent you from making any rash decisions on an empty stomach once you're there.
STEP 2: WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Read the ingredients carefully and always ask your server if you are unsure of anything or have questions.
Look for grilled and baked items such as chicken, fish, turkey, leaner cuts of beef (grass fed ideally) like eye of round roast and sirloin tip side steak.
Vegetables prepared almost any way (except for fried) are usually a safe bet, along with baked potatoes (ask for toppings on the side).
Don't be afraid of carbs but always look for whole grain options like quinoa and brown/white rice. Just watch how it's prepared and the quantity you're eating.
Look at the total calories of the meal and take it into account for what you've eating so far in the day. Calorie count is usually on the menu now, if unsure just ask.
Drinks wise stick to wine or mixed drinks using soda water instead of pop or tonic water. This minimizes sugar consumption while allowing you to have some flexibility with your diet.
STEP 3: WHAT TO AVOID
Avoid fried foods, creams, sauces, and extra toppings like cheese and bacon to reduce total caloric intake and unhealthy fats.
Avoid pastas and heavier items on the menu especially if its dinner time and little activity is planned for the evening.
Avoid ordering or sharing appetizers. Usually they are loaded with unnecessary calories and fat, not to mention will leave you with less room for the main entree, leaving you way too full at the end of the meal.
BONUS: SOME COMMON RESTAURANTS AND OUR RECOMMENDATIONS:
**Don't see anything on the menu that fits into your nutrition habits? Don't be afraid to ask the waiter for something custom. Restaurants are more than happy to accommodate you if you're polite and concise about what you want.
1. Quarter chicken (white or dark- your choice) dinner. No skin, side of steamed vegetables, baked potato, and/or garden salad with balsamic and olive oil. 1/2 multi grain bun or no bun (if you're not being active later)
If you require more calories then I would suggest the half chicken dinner with the same modifications.
2. Roast Beef Dinner with similar modifications.
1. The Chopped Salad
Fresh avocado, chickpeas, red onions, corn, feta cheese and crispy tortilla strips, tossed with our honey lime peanut vinaigrette and drizzled with peanut sauce.
Modifications: Omit the tortilla strips.
2. Surfside Salad: Grilled salmon and shrimp seasoned with chili salt on a bed of greens with fresh avocado, grilled pineapple, sweet peppers, crisp rice noodles and fresh cut salsa tossed in our honey citrus vinaigrette
3. Mediterranean Chicken : Freshly grilled chicken breast layered with goat cheese on a bed of baby spinach, kale, chickpeas, grape tomatoes, roasted red onions, basil infused oil and a stone fruit balsamic drizzle
Modifications: Go light on the goat cheese.
1. Greek Chicken salad: A refreshing blend of plum tomatoes, cucumber, black olives, feta cheese, red onions on a bed of romaine lettuce topped with grilled chicken and our Greek dressing.
*If you must have wings, stick to "dry" rather than having added sauces.
1. Chicken, beet & goat cheese salad: House-made balsamic marinated beets, creamy goat cheese, California greens and red onions tossed in a red onion vinaigrette. Topped with a balsamic drizzle and a grilled fresh chicken breast.
2. Classic sirloin: Fire-grilled AAA 8 oz. sirloin grilled to your liking and basted with garlic butter. Served with your choice of side and sautéed veggies.
Modifications: ask for no garlic butter. Choose a baked potato or garden salad as a side.
Don't see a restaurant here? We're constantly trying to update and improve our posts.
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For custom nutrition plans, guidance, and more, ask us about our nutrition counselling service.