You’re on a roll with your healthy eating, but tonight your partner wants to go out. When you get to the restaurant, there are some options that almost match your eating preferences, but you need to make a few modifications…
“I’d like the chef salad, please, with the oil and vinegar on the side and the apple pie a la mode. But I’d like the pie heated and I don’t want the ice cream on top, I want it on the side and I’d like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it, if not then no ice cream just whipped cream but only if it’s…” – Sally from When Harry Met Sally
Does that sound familiar?
Ordering like Sally is funny once. If you order like that all the time, your friends are not going to want to dine with you. The good news is, there are ways to order healthy food at a restaurant… politely.
Don’t Apologize… But Reserve Judgment
So many people come from a place of apology when they’re eating out and they need to modify the menu. They say things like, “Oh, I’m so sorry, I’m on a special diet. Would it be okay if…?”
Instead, be proud of your eating style. It’s really admirable that you’re taking a stand for your health! In this way, you are also a good example for the people dining with you. Along the same lines, please don’t look down your nose when your friend orders fried mozzarella sticks. No one wants to dine out with the food police.
Make Sensible, Delicious Choices
Would you rather have an amazing appetizer, or the chocolate lava dessert? You don’t really get both unless it’s a couple bites off someone else’s dessert (but you better ask permission first or you might get a fork in the back of the hand – ouch!).
Just remember, your planned indulgence must be mind-blowingly good!
If you’re at an Italian restaurant, and the bread is amazing, have some. If not… PASS! If the chips and salsa are amazing at a Mexican restaurant, enjoy. If you prefer the flan, great! Me? I’m indulging on the chips and salsa.
Eating “naked” means getting all the sauces on the side – that way you get to control how many calories you consume from expensive sauce (I mean calorically expensive here).
Another hint: if you’re going to drink, limit your cocktails to one or two. Lite beer, wine or anything that’s clear like soda water are the best choices. The more frou-frou the drink, the more calories it contains (think 1 pina colada = 1000 calories).
Did You Screw Up?
Let’s just say you messed up. Worst case scenario: you end up drunk, in the back of a taxi with a doggie bag of food from who-knows-where.
Don’t wait until Monday morning to get back on track. If this was a wild Saturday eating night, get back on track Sunday morning at breakfast and try to forget about the night before.
Do you want to learn more about meal planning and prep? Download our free meal planning guide to help you get started: