Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My Tips for Dining Out


    Being a Mom, I’ve learned to plan ahead. Having a back up plan is also a good thing.

    The same thing goes when eating out. Be prepared to be bombarded with the specials of the day and the temptations that are always offered at the end of the meal. Have a plan. If you can, cook at home. This way you know exactly what you’re putting in your body and are able to cook your food exactly the way you NEED it to be, if you are trying to improve your diet and lose weight/get healthy.

If you MUST go out:

(Tips adapted from Tosca Reno's "Stripped" book.)

1. Develop a “healthy” Mindset. Before dining at a restaurant, make the plan to automatically ask for a to-go box so that when your entrée hits your table, you can put half into the box to go. Out of sight, out of mind and staying in your caloric range for the day.

2. Listen to your body-  By all means, enjoy your food. Enjoy each bite! But, eat for the purpose of satisfying your hunger. Listen to what your body (not your mind) is telling you and remember to keep your goal in mind! If you need to (and I'm one that does this!) put a copy of your "goal" or motivation photo in your handbag or wallet to look at at the beginning of the meal.

3. Hold the bread! Remember this is not helping you achieve your weight loss goal.

4. Start green. Start your meal with a house salad, but have them hold the dressing. Squeeze a lemon wedge or two over your leafy greens or ask for some balsamic vinegar.

5. Soup's the name of the game. No salad options on the menu? To curb your hunger so you’re not ravenous by the time your entrée shows up try a broth-based soup.

6. Check for Clean Cooking. Look for entrée options featuring grilled, baked, or roasted meats or fish and steamed or raw veggies. If they aren’t listed on the menu, ask the server to prepare it that way. (No, it's not rude to ask the kitchen to prepare your meal to your standards.)

7. “Fletcherize.” The practice of chewing each mouthful a minimum of 25 times. It gives your body a chance to recognize when you are becoming full. Yes, this practice takes some time to get used to, but is well worth it to practice. You become completely aware of when you are full.

9. No Drink for me, please. You want to avoid alcohol because sugar can derail you in the most powerful way. Have sparkling water with lemon or lime slices.

10. Stop before the end. Think of your plan to shed those pounds, if you can’t resist something sweet ask if they have fresh fruit and have 1 cup. Leave it at that.

My personal favorite tips are to look up the restaurant menu ahead of time online. That way you can go in with a plan written down - no need to even look at the menu the waiter/waitress will hand you. Or, don't be afraid to ask them to cook exactly what you need to reach your goals. Most restaurants have a lean meat or fish and plenty of greens (most have broccoli, green beans, asparagus, or salad) to satisfy you and your goals.

Remember to follow me on Facebook at Flabby Mom to FIT Mom for more tips and motivation!

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