14 Healthy Ideas That’ll Make a BIG Difference When Eating at Restaurants
Earlier this year I started working with a woman who was interested in weight loss and increasing energy. This woman lives a very busy and stressful life- complete with two kids and a (mostly) unhelpful hubby. We began using a very specific diet to accelerate her weight loss. It was pretty intense, at her request. The goal was to do the diet for 2 weeks, and then check in with me on progress. When I chatted with her later on, she revealed that she didn’t really stick with the diet all that well, but was upset that she didn’t lose any weight.
She told me she tried really hard at it, but had several working lunches, a couple bestie nights and a date night with hubby during those two weeks- so she couldn’t stick to the diet. This woman was not ready to even consider substitutions or mentioning her nutrition changes to colleagues, friends and family for fear of ridicule.
Long story short- if you want to make lasting and positive changes for your health- whether weight loss like this client or some other goal, you have to take control of the situation and release your fears around social eating while being healthy.
Easier said than done? Not if you don’t want it to be.
Below I’m sharing 14 tips to keep your restaurant patronage happy for you and your body.
How to get what you want at restaurants and feel confident doing it
- Search Google and look at menus ahead of time
- Call ahead or ask your server for options/substitutions
- Make a list of restaurants with options/substitutions that you like in your area- next time your friends want to go out, suggest one of those places
- Take half home- just because they give you huge portions doesn’t mean you need to eat it all
- Live 80/20- there’s no reason why you can’t indulge eating out once in awhile (I save this for special occasions like birthdays, christmas or anniversaries.)
Alternatives to Ask For
- No bun (or crappy processed cheese) on burger
- Extra veg or salad instead of fries/potatoes/noodles where possible
- Skip booze and dessert
- Add chicken or salmon to a salad
- Ask for olive oil and lemon or vinegar for salads (especially if you have very severe food restrictions)
- Drink lemon water to aid digestion
- Ask for meats to be grilled not fried
- Order salad as an appetizer
- Skip the bread basket- ask the waiter to not bring it even if you like
Here’s a two-step action plan
- Call ahead + ask about dietary restrictions, let them know ahead of time about your needs
- When you arrive, choose a couple of the alternative food suggestions I mentioned and USE them- be confident
Using these tips and doing the 2-step action plan has endless benefits for you:
- More confidence in restaurants and in general in speaking your mind
- Staying on track and true to your deepest desires for a healthy body, mind and spirit
- Being a leader and practicing what you preach in front of your friends/family/colleagues often spurs change in them as well– seeing YOU do it makes it easier for THEM to do it- and we want healthy families, no?