Watching the Waistline and Fearing Dining Out?
I’ve been there! I eat super clean at home. Grilled chicken, salads, shakeology, tuna, buffalo burgers, protein bars. My pantry doesn’t have any junk in it, so I don’t eat any junk (you should try that). BUT, THEN I GO OUT TO EAT! Forget lion and tigers and bears! Its nachos and quesadillas and cheese fries, OH MY! My waistline was looking great until I decided to eat out! But it happens. I get it. You gotta go out every now and then, whether it is a work luncheon, a date, a girls night. The good news is there are some ways to keep a slim waistline and still enjoy the experience without having to pack almonds and sip on water.
The Slim Waistline Restaurant Plan
I worked in the restaurant business for 14 years. I’ve learned what works, what doesn’t and a few pointers on how to watch your waistline without totally annoying your server (both are vital to a happy life 🙂 ).
10 Ways to a Smaller Waistline While Eating Out
- BREAD! I love bread. Bread is my carb of choice. I love it so much that I have vowed off pasta, rice and potatoes for the most part (except for the occasional sushi roll & French fry). I’m not saying skip the bread, unless it isn’t your thing. If you don’t love it, ask your server NOT TO BRING IT. You WILL eat it if its there. If its not your favorite kind of bread, SKIP IT. Ask your server to take it away. Your waistline will thank you and you will save the calories for when you want them. If you love it, eat a piece. Eat it slowly and savor every bite. In this case, it is worth it and won’t spoil your meal. Absolutely NO refills. (in a Mexican restaurant, opt for tortillas instead of chips)
- WATER! Skip the cokes and DEFINITELY the sweet tea. The markup on cokes is crazy! In most restaurants, you are paying $2+ for a coke. Save your $ and your waistline! It is empty calories and will add up fast! If you can’t resist, have one and let your server know ahead of time (if not they will keep bringing them–its their job and the mark of a good server). Moderation is key! But definitely choose either bread or cokes or neither. Never both. As for the sweat tea, if you saw how much sugar went into one batch, you wouldn’t go near it…an entire pitcher of sugar. Drink your water, especially while you are waiting on your meal. It aids in digestion and will help you feel full faster.
- APPETIZER AS AN ENTREE! I do it all the time. When ordering, be specific. I will take the crab cake appetizer as my entrée. This will help those of you that were raised to clean your plate like me! If you bring me a heaping portion, I will eat a heaping portion! NOOO! So, I order apps all the time. I will typically tip a few dollars extra though so the server isn’t penalized by me watching my waistline, whereas seats equal dollars and normally someone would have a more expensive bill that ordered a normal entrée size portion.
- SALAD’S ARE BAD? Yes. Don’t think you are doing your waistline any favors by ordering an iceberg lettuce salad topped with bacon, croutons, cheese and tons of ranch. You know who you are! This particular salad has zero nutritional value. You might as well skip to #9!
- ASK FOR A TO-GO BOX! That’s right. Be “that” person and don’t apologize for it. Your waistline will be proud when you ask for a to go box as soon as your food arrives. Go ahead and pack it up so you aren’t tempted to eat it. I don’t recommend asking the server to box it for you. Have them bring it out first. A lot of restaurants take delight in presentation and just don’t want to cut it in half before you’ve been presented with your meal or you will most likely get an internal eye roll.
- CREAM ANYTHING is BAD! Don’t even think about it. If it says cream, creamy, sour cream, crema, alfredo, gravy, hollandaise—skip it! I always recommend you opt for red sauce: marinara, carbonara, etc. OR, if you’ve skipped the bread, the coke and limited your portion size, order the sauce on the side and go light.
- ALCOHOL?? Choose a waistline friendly drink. Your two best choices are red wine and vodka with water. In most cocktails, the mixers are the worst part and the clearer the liquor, the better! Of course, skip anything with cream or coke. Fruit juices are also loaded with calories. If you must have a mixer order a SPLASH of cranberry, oj, pineapple, etc. This will give you flavor with minimal calories added. Another waistline pleaser!
- SWEET POTATOES! If you are a potato freak, opt for the sweet potato! They are rich in complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber (waistline plus!), beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese and potassium. Sounds like a good choice to me! And they are delicious!
- DESSERT? Berries plain. That’s the one your waistline loves the most. If you just can’t pass up another dessert because it is a special occasion and you skipped the bread, the cokes, the cream sauce and you just gotta have the apple pie or molten chocolate cake…SHARE IT! Have a few bites! It won’t kill you, but make sure you love it or don’t eat it!
- MODERATION! I do not believe in depriving yourself. If you have a favorite treat meal then you should enjoy it every now and then. The key is ONLY every now and then. Food is fuel! Make sure you are fueling your body properly. Input, output. What you put in is what you will get out. If you are tired and dragging, odds are it is nutrition related. So follow these tips when eating out and focus on eating super clean at home. Throw out the garbage and tip your server well! Cheers!
P.S. Need more help slimming that waistline then click here!