General Guidelines for Dining Out
1. Be the one to make the restaurant recommendation. Choose an eating establishment that offers the best choices for your eating plan. Check out the web to see the menu before you go. Many establishments will post the nutritional values of their food choices. So plan ahead.
2. Do not skip meals or fast before going out. The results will be a mad dash for maximum calories. Always have a small, planned snack before dining out to curb your appetite.
3. Be Assertive. Ask questions about food preparation, portion size, added fat/salt/sugar, made to order or prepared in advance, low fat/ low calorie substitutions.
4. Frequently, over consuming starts before the meal is ever delivered. Limit alcohol and plan how much bread or chips you will take from the basket. If you are having chips, take out 4 or 5, put them on a plate. Take your time eating and request a second basket not be delivered or keep it out of your reach.
5. Watch out for those sneaky side dishes. Assume the broccoli with come with hollandaise sauce. Assume fries will accompany your sandwich. Ask for substitutions and high fat dressings toppings to be left off.
6. When ordering appetizers, choose broth –based soups, tomato juice or fresh fruit.
7. When looking at the menu:
* Consider ordering “a la carte” meals. That way you get what you want.
• Split a meal.
• Cooking phrases indicating high-fat: buttered, in butter sauce, sautéed, fried, pan fried, braised, basted, creamed, in cream sauce, in its own gravy. Hollandaise, au gratin, in cheese sauce, escalloped, stewed, casserole, prime, marinated in oil and hash.
• Cooking phrases indicating low fat: steamed in its own juices, garden fresh, tomato juice, broiled, roasted, poached and dry broiled (lemon juice or wine)
8. For a main course, consider an appetizer or an appetizer size portion for an entrée.
9. Eating is the one race you want to lose. Finish last. Put your fork down between bites, socialize, and drink water frequently. Remember that it takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to signal the brain that it is full.
10. If you want dessert, consider sharing.
11. Minimize your “high risk” time by coming late, having your plate cleared as soon as you are done (get in the habit of leaving food on your plate), excusing yourself to the restroom, or leaving early.
12. If fellow diners start questioning your meal choices, remember that you are not on a “diet.” You are just looking to eat healthier.
13. If you do blow your eating plan, do not panic. One night of overeating does not undo all the hard work you have done. It takes 3500 calories over your needs to gain a pound of fat. Stay away from the “oh well I blew it so I might as well continue to overindulge” syndrome.
Happy, Healthy Dining!