Did you know that healthy restaurant food DOES exist? What I hear more often than not from clients is that the obstacle to them losing weight is due to busy lives. I totally get it! Life with kids or sometimes even without kids is on the run.
Certainly afterschool activities will steal your time right from under you as well as your time to prepare healthy meals. During football season with two boys in band we live in the car going back and forth to practice.
Often it is until late at night 4 or 5 nights a week. So like most busy families you grab food on the go or get take out. You begin to think that low carb eating out doesn’t exist and all that is ever available are double meat cheeseburgers and fries. You may not like me after this but that is simply not true!
Healthy restaurant food is available everywhere even fast food places! You just have to know what and how to order. Don’t fool yourself either by thinking ordering the salad is the healthy route. Depending on your salad dressing addiction, you may be better off ordering a grilled chicken sandwich with no mayo or ketchup.
Even light lemon vinaigrette dressing is laden with fat grams. A ¼ cup serving of this dressing, which is what most restaurants serve, contains 27 gms fat.
Healthy fats but it is still fats. When you are unaware of what your macronutrient breakdown and intake should be, you can end up consuming too much of a good thing.
The best way to go about ordering and eating healthy restaurant food is to have a restaurant guide to healthy eating. So let’s break it down:
Healthy Restaurant Tips:
- Always order water with lemon or plain or unsweetened tea. Avoid regular sodas as well as diet sodas and sweetened tea.
- Avoid alcohol. It is true it is laden with calories however the bigger issue is that your body must metabolize alcohol right away since it cannot store it. It halts all other metabolic functions and focuses solely on the alcohol. It also wreaks havoc on your liver.
- This may not be an option if you are with the family but if no one cares, avoid appetizers and breadbaskets. Most of the choices would never make the healthy restaurant food list.
- Always ask for your salad dressing on the side. Just add a quarter of what they give you and toss. You will be amazed at how flavorful a salad can be with just the yummy veggies and lean meat added to it. Another trick is to dip your fork in the dressing and then add salad to your fork. A friend taught me that and I never eat a salad any other way.
- When ordering a sandwich, hold the mayo. Ketchup and cheese and ask for wheat bread if it is an option. I hope that it is a given to order grilled chicken or fish rather than an Angus beef patty or anything fried, right?
- Always choose grilled, steamed, baked or broiled instead of fried and blackened. Fried for obvious reasons but blackened is usually pan fried in butter and contains heavy sodium.
- Always ask how your food will be prepared. For example, did they baste your baked chicken with olive oil or butter? Did they add butter to the steamed vegetables? Does the Cedar plank Salmon come with a glaze? If so, ask to have that on the side. Use the dipped fork principle for flavor.
- Order entrees that are simple in nature. Stay away from stuffing, gravies, and sauces.
- This one might shock you but I am not going to tell you to not order dessert. I AM going to tell you that if you do, share it with the table. Limit yourself to two bites. Grab your water and chug it…the craving will diminish and your sweet tooth satisfied.
Remember, healthy eating is a choice everywhere you go. Life happens. There will ALWAYS be birthday parties with cake, celebrations at restaurants, travel ball and cheer trips, busy weeks of drive through dining, vacations away from your kitchen and the list goes on. Stop making excuses and make it a lifestyle and a priority to become the best you!