Wednesday Wellness: Tip for dining out

A few weeks ago I wrote about dining landmines and how to avoid certain sauces, marinades, and other indulgences at restaurants. What we didn’t cover is how to order your food so you CAN go to a restaurant and make yummy safe and calorically healthy choices. I remember a couple of years ago I went to a very nice restaurant and started to alter the menu. The waiter was upset with me because he didn’t feel I would like the food. I found it interesting that he “knew” what I would and wouldn’t enjoy. I also found it interesting that as the person paying for the meal, there was a part of me who wanted to please the waiter. I got over that quickly and realized that I am the only one who can make the choice of what to eat, how to order and how hard I wanted to work out the following day to burn off excess unwanted calories!

Here are some tips to help you if you want to do a normal workout the “day after” vs. running an ultra marathon to keep your hips and thighs looking nice this summer:

  • Ask for fish steamed or poach
  • Request any dressing or sauces be put on the side and enjoy a little, but not the whole shebang
  • Ask for extra vegetables instead of the starch served with the meal (i.e. rice, polenta, pasta, potato)
  • Ask for balsamic vinegar on the side for your salad (not vinaigrette)
  • Request the bread be removed from the table. If you simply can’t make it through the night without a slice, grab one, THEN have the basket removed
  • Start your meal off with a glass of water with lemon or hot herbal tea, then have your appetizer and/or glass of wine
  • Have a glass of water between any drinks/wine choices
  • Share a main course and have an appetizer as your warm up (this will save you money too!)
  • While everyone else is having dessert, order a cup of decaf. Sometimes all you need is the process of having a food/drink item in your hand
  • Eat slowly
  • Ask for extra greens in your salad
  • Choose an extra vegetable choice at dinner (i.e. if the steamed vegetables are say broccoli, ask if you can have a side of kale too)
  • Whenever possible, have shellfish or fish. This can save you hundreds of calories
  • If you do have red meat, ask that it be made without butter (often restaurants will put 1 or 2 pats of butter on the meat for a crispy salty taste)

Remember…the choices you make every time you dine out can be delicious and satisfying; especially when you know you will feel great in the morning!

Enjoy food…an enjoy even MORE while you are maintaining a healthy body!