Fit Friday: Dining Out Healthy

The biggest misconception my friends and family have had since I started my fitness journey is they often think that I have to starve myself and miss out on all the good food when we are at family functions or going out to dinner together.
Oh! Honey!  Let me tell you how wrong you are!
It totally baffles me to think food is the very reason that I was obese, and food has also become my release from obesity.  
Crazy, isn’t it?!
I eat small five meals a day: 3 meals balanced with lean protein, a complex carb, and fresh veggies galore and 2 meals with just protein and veggies.
I’m never hungry (except after I leave the gym from a fierce workout), and I am losing weight, have plenty of energy, and creating lean muscle for myself.
My most recent comparison pic:  I had lost 20 pounds when I went to jamaica last year and since then have lost 80 more!
Now, I don’t eat pizza or nachos or even Subway sandwiches (too much sodium in the bread & meat!), but I eat steak, chicken breast, seafood, etc….
And I control how it is cooked.
If we want dinner out, we go.  I am never deprived.
 Copper River Grill in Greenville has become one of our favorite dine out places.  
Not too long ago when we were dining out, I had a steakhouse salad with an in-house made balsamic vinaigrette.
Five ounces of lean sirloin grilled to my liking without the high sodium content on a bed of lettuce, mushrooms, tomato, & green & red onion.
Now I do have the advantage the our Copper River carries a very healthy options menu that fits the Ultra-Fit diet that I follow so I don’t have a lot to worry about, but you can eat out healthily as well.  In fact, it just takes a little planning ahead and determination to stick to your plan
Here are a few tips to help you dine out just a little more healthy:
*Choose restaurants that you know will allow for special orders.  Ruby Tuesday, Outback, Shoguns Japanese Steak house, Gengis Grill, etc… are all restaurants that offer some dishes cook to order.  Olive Garden is a really bad option because most things come in prepackaged as are the Weight Watcher’s dishes from Applebees (these are overLOADED with sodium!)*Opt for foods that are grilled, steamed or broiled. That generally is going to be a healthier cooking method, especially when you request that the chef leaves off the butter.

*Order your steaks, chicken, seafoods and even your fries without salt.  Take control of your sodium intake.  Sauces like soy, cocktail and the like are also loaded with salt.  Opt for low sodium versions (which still have too much) to help keep your sodium intake down.

*Don’t be afraid to ask the server to make changes to the menu. Replace unhealthy sides such as french fries for steamed vegetables. If you know a sauce is going to be loaded with calories, ask that it be brought on the side. You tend to eat less that way.

*Always order your salad dressing on the side, this way you control the amount on your salad.  You can also go even more healthy by requesting vinegar and oil and add a little black pepper.  It truly makes a delicious salad dressing!
*A restaurant serving can usually feed two, so at the beginning of the meal, ask the server for a to-go box. Put half of the meal away and take it home with you for your lunch the next day.  We naturally want to eat food if it is front of us, so plan for your portion size to be healthy.

*Order a salad as your first course (sans bacon and cheese) which is a healthy option to fill up on before your entree arrives.
*Skip the bread basket.  When you place your order, simply ask the waitress to not bring bread to your table.

*Don’t drink you calories; drink water with lemon.  Sweet teas, soda, alcohol are all loaded with sugar that can seriously add unnecessary calories to your diet

*Do not be afraid to ask how something is prepared if you aren’t sure.  Most restaurants have the nutritional information on hand and will share it if you ask.  A chef can often prepare food using less oil, no butter, or no added salt. If there is sauce, salad dressing, or gravy, get it on the side. Then you can dip — or skip — and use less.

These are by no means all of the ways you can make dining out a little healthier, but it’s a good start.  Many things you pick up on your own as you become more accustomed to your healthier lifestyle.

And don’t forget, just because you are eating healthy does not mean you are deprived! 

Enjoy your night out!


2 thoughts on “Fit Friday: Dining Out Healthy

  1. Pingback: Coming (Very) Soon: A New Look | Fiddle Dee Dee

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