So in short there is no reason to run and hide from going out to eat (on occasion) if you know how to do it right. Here are my top 10 restaurant survival tips:
1. Look at the menu before you go. Being prepared before you go to a restaurant is always a great way to stay on track. Knowing what the healthy options are and planning on what you will eat will make it easier to stick to your lifestyle change and be less tempted to order what someone else is. Some restaurants even have lighter meal ideas on their menus or at least online.
2. Have it your way. That saying isn't just for Burger King. All restaurants will accommodate within reason. Don't feel bad about having them hold, add, or substitute anything.
3. Choose chicken or fish over beef. By choosing poultry or fish you are usually going to consume less fat and calories, but this tip goes hand in hand with the next one...
5. Choose veggies for one of your sides and eat them first. By making sure that you get your vegetables in first it will help you fill up faster and have less room for things like desert.
6. Skip the bread basket or limit yourself to one. You can still have carbs and be healthy but a lot of mindless eating can be done with the bread basket. Those calories can add up fast especially if you are smothering that roll in butter. So limit yourself to just one or skip it all together if you can.
7. Get the dressing/sauce on the side. Most restaurants will already bring you the sauce and dressing on the side but it's better to ask just in case. This way you can control how much goes on your food so you can still get a little for taste but not have your food smothered.
8. Hold the salt. When you can ask for less seasoning or no salt. With the amount of sodium in restaurant dishes, a lot of water weight can be gained and make you feel sluggish for days.
9. Keep portions in mind. There are too many restaurants that have huge portions that are double the size of what they should be. You want to keep in mind exactly how much you are eating. This is why I love doing tip #10.
10. Get a to go box with your meal. By asking for a to go box with your meal you are able to put half of your meal away so you don't consume two meals worth of food. Out of sight out of mind, right?