Earlier this week I attended a media dinner at a new restaurant downtown. It was a fun night sampling food and drinks. Dinner was completely out of my control and I was OK with that because I planned ahead and prepared myself for it.
I don’t stress about going out to dinner. I don’t stress about potlucks or parties. I am all about balance and enjoying life. So when faced with a situation that is out of my control, I roll with it and do the best I can.
And I plan ahead as much as possible, which is key.
I make sure to get in all my portions of fruits and veggies for the day before the event. Usually a bigger salad at lunch and smoothie will take care of those needs easily. It’s really easy to add some veggies or greens to scrambled eggs in the morning. That way when I’m out to eat or at an event where veggies might not be plentiful, I know that I’m already covered for the day. This allows me to relax and enjoy my time out.
Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean we have to give up everything to eat more broccoli and bananas. I am all about embracing life and enjoying the hell out of it. There are more serious things to stress over than a party or going out to dinner.
As long as you plan ahead, you will always be successful.
Autumn Calabrese, fitness instructor and creator of the 21 Day Fix Extreme (which I will be starting in a couple of weeks. If you want to join me, let me know!) shares some tips on dining out stress free and staying on track.
Portion control tips for eating out by Autumn Calabrese:
1. Order an appetizer as your main dish. Even appetizers are usually the perfect size meal. So choose one as your main dish and maybe add a side of veggies with it.
2. Share an entree. Chances are you are at dinner with a friend or family member so pick an entree that sounds good to both of you and share it.
3. If ordering a salad ask for the dressing on the side.
4. Drink water. Sip your water while you eat. Sipping water will help fill you up. It will also ensure that you are hydrated. Our bodies often confuse thirst for hunger.
5. Eat your veggies first. Fill up on vegetables so you eat less of the carbohydrates and protein which are higher in calories.
6. Take half to go. If you do order your own entree ask your server to bring you a Togo box when the entree arrives at the table. Put half in the box to take home & enjoy the other half.
7. The first time you feel full put the fork down. Often we continue to eat because we like the taste not because we are still hungry. Don’t stop eating when you are so full that it hurts, stop eating when you feel satisfied.
8. Don’t skip meals. People tend to “save their appetite” for a nice dinner out. Skipping a meal before hand means you will arrive to dinner hungry and want to order one of everything.
My experience with dining out, I have found that there tends to be a lack of veggies as side dishes. I try and pick a main dish that has the biggest side dish component and add on a house salad or side salad to my order. That gives me a little bit more of a veggie portion.
Sometimes this isn’t an option at all. If you’re at a burger joint, they don’t usually have salads as an option. This is where planning ahead works to your advantage! If you got all your veggie portions in for the day already, enjoy the hell out of that burger and fries!
What do you do when dining out to help stay on track?