Last Updated on November 10, 2017 by Jen Kristensen
If you are looking to shed pounds or are trying to maintain the current weight you are in, eating out can be an annoying yet tempting problem. The worst part about committing to a strict eating plan is the inability to eat around people who have no regard whatsoever when it comes to meal selection. It is hard for those who are committed to eating healthier when you have to dine with people who might tempt you into going back to your unhealthy eating habits. Even so, if you have your willpower in check, you can dine with them at whatever restaurant they choose without having to revert back to unhealthy food choices.
If you are planning to eat out with friends, there is no need to fret. Eating out is a social experience that you should not give up. While eating healthy around people who will stuff anything down their mouths is hard, you need to enjoy socializing as well. Here are a few tips and tricks for these necessary but tempting encounters.
Before your eyes widen with horror at the thought of eating fast food once again, please keep in mind that it can be done. You can enjoy your fast food favorites without the weight gain. Most fast food chains have healthy salads you can enjoy without the guilt. T.G.I. Friday’s has an excellent Balsamic-Glazed Chicken Caesar salad at a healthy 490 calories, with no trans fat! You can pair them with Ahi Tuna Crisps for the protein content, as it only has 330 calories.
Fast food is good. However, too much of a good thing is never advisable. As long as you avoid the extra carbohydrates, you can enjoy a fast food meal without having to worry about your waistline.
If you are craving for Italian food, well, this can be a bit hard to pull off. Stay away from the pasta and the pizza. You can have entrees though, preferably ones that don’t have heavy sauces and contain as much protein as possible. This is why most people on a diet find eating at Italian restaurants is a temptation trigger that is so hard to resist.
However, there are many Italian restaurants that offer tasty treats for the calorie conscious customer. If you are at California Pizza Kitchen, you could sample one of their Lite Adventures. Their Shrimp Scampi Zucchini Fettuccine is perfectly seasoned and filling at a decent 470 calories. It is packed with protein and has no trans fat.
If you are craving your dimsum fix, rejoice! Chinese food is a great way to indulge without having to worry about fatty preparations. Many of the offerings are steamed, which means you get to enjoy them without worrying about oil and trans fat. Avoid any dips and you should be fine.
P.F. Chang’s has dumplings to soothe your hunger pangs. Enjoy their vegetable, shrimp or pork dumplings with no sauce. Each serving ranges from 300 to 420 calories. They also have an awesome Lemongrass Chicken Salad with only 390 calories and packed with protein.
While Mexican food is undoubtedly delicious, it would be best to avoid it if you can. However, if you must indulge, you can have corn tortillas and salsa. Avoid flour tortillas, sour cream or the crunchy taco shells. However, if you must have tacos, you can only have the insides, sorry. You could order your tacos in salad form and tell the server to add as much leafy greens as possible. Use salsa for dressing, as regular dressing may be too heavy.
Tips For Eating Out
Before going to a restaurant, make sure you check their menu online. They should have low-calorie choices. It would be best to check the nutritional guide as well. This will help you decide on a meal without the pressure, as your friends may convince you to give in if you cannot make up your mind.
Please try to avoid sweets throughout the meal. However, if the urge is too great to resist, ask a few friends to help you finish a modest portion of your dessert. A tablespoon or two shouldn’t be enough to hurt your diet. You can also try to ask your server to divide the order into four. This will allow you to distribute it evenly with your friends.
You can enjoy eating out and socializing with workmates, family or friends, even if you are on a strict diet. However, you need to make sure that you have the proper amount of self-control to get through the meal without caving in. If you feel the need to indulge, order whatever you want and have the smallest portion available. However, make sure you do not finish it, as this can lead to a relapse when all you wanted to do was satisfy the craving.