Updated: Oct 1, 2021
You’re on a roll with your healthy eating and weight loss, but tonight your husband wants to go out. When you get to the restaurant, there are some options that almost match your plan, 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 whip cream instead of ice cream if you have it, if not then no ice cream just leave it plain and don't worry about heating it..." Hello Sally from When Harry Met Sally.
Ordering like Sally is funny once. If you order like that all the time, you're quickly going to become "that friend".
The good news is, there are ways to order healthily at a restaurant... without making everyone's eyes roll.
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 healthy living aspirations. It really is admirable that you’re taking a stand for your health! In this way, you're also a good example for the people dining with you. But along those same lines, please don’t judge or criticize when your friend or partner orders the fried mozzarella sticks. No one wants to dine out with the food police. You do you.
Make Sensible, Delicious Choices
With each meal, you have a caloric budget and you get to choose how you spend that budget. 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 of course ask their permission first!).
Just remember, your planned indulgence should be mind-blowingly good! Don't waste your indulgence on the ordinary when you can have extraordinary!
If you’re at an Italian restaurant, and the bread is freakin'-fantastic, then have a piece and enjoy every bit of it. If not... PASS!
Me? I’m spending my calories on a good glass of wine.
Don’t worry, I’m not sending you to the nudist colony for dinner. 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 and down a full glass of water in between. And aim for the lighter drinks, like wine or clear liquors mixed with soda rather than sugary syrups. In general, the more frou-frou the drink, the more calories it contains (think 1 pina colada on average 1000 calories).
Did You Mess Up?
Let’s just say you messed up. Worst case scenario: you end up, face down in a plate of nachos with a pitcher of margaritas, with a to-go back of food sitting on your counter, and you wake up the next morning wondering what exactly you didn't eat or drink last night.
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 don't waste a bunch of time and energy beating yourself up about what you cannot change. Today is a new day: onward and upward friend!
Are you tired of starting over every Monday, hopping from diet to diet, wondering if you'll ever get it "right" so that you can lose the weight and become the best version of you? I’ve got you friend! Come join me inside my FREE women’s-only Facebook community: Eat Better with Coach Mindy. It's for busy women like you who are ready to lose weight, gain energy, get healthy and fit -- without restrictive diets or punishing food rules.