Who doesn’t like eating out?
Good food, good company, good drinks! Before beginning this journey, I would make plans to go out for dinner and skip lunch. Sound familiar? Well I have learned that is one of the worst things you can do. By the time you get to the restaurant you are starving, and then they bring out the BREAD BASKET! Two or three pieces later (with butter, of course), you’ve inhaled a couple hundred calories- and you haven’t even spoken to the waiter yet.
I’ve learned a couple of tips and I’d like to share them with you:
- Stick to your healthy eating: eat your regular lunch and a late afternoon snack. Consider a small salad or a broth based soup before heading out if you are famished!
- Plan ahead, you can check out most menus online and decide what you are going to order before even leaving the house. Don’t be swayed by your fellow diners.
- Ask not to have the bread basket placed on your table.
- Ask how items are prepared and don’t be afraid to ask to have them prepared a certain way (not breaded, sauce on the side, dressing on the side, fish and animal proteins grilled).
- Start with a salad, dressing on the side, and dip your fork into the dressing before taking a forkful of salad.
- Order extra vegetable servings in lieu of the starch. Don’t use your entire carb daily allowance at dinner! For women that is 100g carbs or less a day.
- Eat ½ your entrée and ask to take the rest home. Makes a great lunch for the next day. Consider sharing an entrée – less money, less calories – WIN/WIN!
- Drink extra water when having alcohol.
- Skip the fancy drinks and stick with a glass of wine, light beer or vodka. No mixers!
- Look for items that are broiled, grilled, steamed, or baked.
- Stay away from creamy, breaded, crisp, sauced, stuffed, buttery or pan fried.
- Be mindful of the whole eating out experience. Enjoy the company you are with, make them the focus and not the food.
One of my favorite places to eat out is sushi.
Japanese food is usually prepared with little oil and has healthier ingredients like tofu, rice, seaweed, noodles, vegetables, and small quantities of fish, chicken, and lean meat. The sauces used most often are low fat. But beware there are some ingredients to stay away from. Many sushi rolls have cream cheese, tempura flakes, mayonnaise and deep fried fish. Here are a few tips:
- Start with soup and salad: miso soup (50 calories) and a house salad with ginger dressing (110 calories) or a seaweed salad (110 calories) is a great start.
- Roll it with cucumber: Ask to have your roll wrapped in cucumber instead of rice. Typically, one cup of rice (which is 3 servings) is used to coat your sushi roll adding about 240 calories before anything else is even added on the roll.
- Limit the rice: Order sushi rolled in cucumber or with “light” rice (less rice) or brown rice adding more fiber which is excellent but still contains all the carbs!
- Stay away from battered, fried, tempura, mayo. A shrimp tempura roll has 544 calories and each tablespoon of spicy mayo adds an additional 100 calories.
- Order sashimi: it is low in calories, high in lean protein and no carbs. Plus, you get the omega-3 essential fatty acids.
- Ask for low sodium soy sauce.
- Go easy on the sake: a little cup of sake has about 80 calories.
Suggested order: One roll, one order sashimi, edamame, miso soup and salad or seaweed salad!
Check back for tips to other popular restaurants.