I was texting a friend last night and one of the things we chatted about was the fact that it was hard for her to keep her weight down recently because she was always eating out with her boyfriend. I was happy to hear that the reason was not due to stress or boredom, but to the enjoyment of too many rich meals with her new love.
It’s hard to be in a relationship when you are dieting unless that person is very supportive of you. I’ve been lucky in that respect. Everyone I have dated has always been very understanding. As a matter of fact I have helped a few to adopt healthier eating plans and lose some weight. But not everyone is so lucky and you need to be wary of people who try to sabotage your efforts.
I have some tips to help you stay on track when dining out:
- If you know that you will be splurging that night at some fabulous restaurant, eat small low cal/low carb meals throughout the day. Perhaps an egg white omelet for breakfast, a small salad for lunch and some almonds or fruit in between. At the most you will have consumed about 3-400 calories and if you are eating 1800-2200 calories a day that leaves at least 1500 calories for dinner.
- In the restaurant make sure to skip the bread. When the bread basket is on the table it’s easy to eat 2-3 pieces and you’ve just wasted 3-400 calories right there. And if you are drinking any alcohol it’s easy to lose control so have them take the bread away or not bring it in the first place
- While waiting for your main entree snack on some olives. They are very low calorie but high in sodium so don’t over do it. Or even better, have a small salad with a little lemon and olive oil or balsamic vinegar. Ask them to put whatever raw veggies they have in the salad (no croutons). This should fill you up so that you are less likely to gorge yourself when the main course arrives. A really great little appetizer to have is the shrimp or crab cocktail. Very tasty and low calorie.
- For your entree order the fish or chicken, as they are low in calories and ask them to either broil it with a little butter and lemon juice or to use a light sauce. Try to skip the potatoes or risotto but if you can’t resist ask them to give you mostly lightly steamed or sauteed veggies with a small amount of potatoes or risotto on the side.
- Eat slowly and savor your food and savor your diner companion as well.
- At this point you’ve probably consumed about 1500 calories for the whole day which leaves you about 500 calories to splurge with. Go ahead and order the dessert if you just can’t resist because you will still be within your desired allotment of calories for the day. Or you could eat a few bites of your dinner companions dessert or order something light like the sherbert or a fresh fruit plate.
Now if you do decide you deserve to treat yourself and splurge that day just make sure you get right back on track the next morning.
I will be posting some healthy low calorie/low carb alternatives for when you go to a fast food restaurant.