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Wouldn’t you love to have some weight loss management friendly tips for enjoying a healthy, satisfying meal when eating out without feeling deprived or guilty?
I have put together 18 tips and recommendations to keep your weight loss management efforts under control when you go out for a lunch or meal, whether it is to celebrate or just for a business or any other occasion meal.
- Remember that Food is only a small part of any celebration or outing. Try to focus on the social part of the event to avoid giving too much importance to food.
- Choose restaurants where you know you’ll be able to find a weight loss management friendly meal options. Do your due diligence before deciding where to go.
- Don’t arrive hungry to the restaurant. It is very difficult to make the right choices when you feel hungry. Plan a snack accordingly to the time of the meal.
- Plan in advance by checking the menu online and making the right choices at home when you are calm and not hungry. Decide if you are going for a heavier meal and no dessert, or a light meal with a rich dessert. If you can’t access the menu online, take your time studying the menu once at the restaurant and decide on your order before you are distracted by a conversation or by the waiter asking for drinks. If you don’t remember how to organize a healthy filling meal you have all the information you need here: How to prepare Healthy Filling Meals, Right Combination is the Key.
- Avoid any alcoholic drinks before ordering the food. They make you feel hungrier, and you will end up eating and drinking more. When the waiter takes drink orders, request just plain water. Wait to order your drink until your meal is served. In the meantime, drink your water to fill up and trick your stomach a bit so you can avoid the bread and butter.
- Refuse bread when it comes—if you can—or if not, place it far away from you. It is usually white, sticky bread packed with empty calories that will make you feel even hungrier after the insulin peak. If you really want to have bread with your meal, order whole-grain bread with no butter.
- Start with a salad or light soup to fill you up.
- Restaurant portions are out of control! Get smaller portions: split an entrée with somebody, order an appetizer or side as an entrée, ask to wrap up part of your meal before you even start to eat. Try to also split desserts as they tend to be huge. If you need a reminder of how the healthy portion sizes are look like you can find it here: a Guide to Healthy Portion Sizes.
- If you are ordering a piece of meat, look for cuts with less fat. If you don’t really know, ask the waiter.
- Choose healthy sides: vegetables with no butter or salad are the best choices.
- Restaurant dressings and sauces are very heavy; avoid them as much as possible, or order dressings and sauces on the side and use only a small portion.
- Avoid fried food, too much cheese, and creamy sauces and soups.
- Ask for details about how the entreé is actually prepared so you can avoid too much butter, sauces and fried food.
- If after having a light meal, dessert is really calling you, look for those lower in sugar and with some protein, like ice cream, flan or flourless cake. If you don’t know why all meals should include protein read a post about it here.
- Ask for special orders when there is nothing that really suits you, or make sure you eat a very small portion.
- Every bite counts! So try not to nibble on bread or to try others meal.
- No matter what, enjoy your meal! You won’t gain anything by feeling guilty or a failure for not accomplishing all your expectations.
- Remember to write on your weight loss management food diary all you have included in your meal and analyze what choices could have been better.
Over to You!
Do you have other weight loss management tips you use when eating out?
I'd love to learn them from you!