Thursday, June 10, 2010

Foodie Tips for Dining Out and Sticking to Your Goals

Yesterday I posted some of my tips on how to dine out while sticking to your health and weight goals. If you missed the post, you can view it here. At the end of the post I asked if you had any tips that I missed, and boy did you provide some great ones! Here are some that I chose (sorry, I couldn't post every one!). I sort of re-wrote them, so don't be surprised if it doesn't sound like exactly what you wrote. All pictures are from iStock Photo.





Dining Out and Sticking to Your Goals; Tips From Foodies Around the World!

Biz said it's good to always ask for modifications! Never be afraid. The worst that will happen is that they will say they can't do it. No biggie.

Gina and Anna both said that they don't eat out very often, and they prefer to stay in and cook their own food. In my opinion it's good to try to eat out less than 2 times per week. This includes lunch and breakfast, not just dinner. Find some recipes that are simple, quick, and healthy. Check out my side bar for some good ideas!



Heather said when she does go out she tries to order meals focused on veggies and have the main course light on bread or pasta. I love this idea, especially if you order a beer or have some bread or chips prior to the meal (all three will contribute simple carbs).



Missy (aka the QUEEN of dining out and sticking to her goals) suggested ordering salads without croutons or cheese. This is a great idea, as those two components can really make or break a healthy salad. You could even just ask for them on the side, therefore you have the ability to add as much or as little as you want (hopefully the latter). Also, when it comes to side salads, always ask what's on the salad. A side salad may sound simple and low calorie, but some can have bacon, croutons, blue cheese, cheddar cheese, and lots of dressing. The restaurant I used to work at had a side salad that was about 300 calories!



Hallie said;" One thing I like to do when I go out to eat is always order water, first thing, and guzzle it!". As Hallie indicated this is a good way to make yourself feel "full". Studies do show that when you order soup before a meal you will eat less overall, but I think water is a better idea. Soup is very high in sodium, and can also be very high in calories. I forgot to mention yesterday that it's also important not to go to a restaurant STARVING. I always eat a little snack before I eat out, no matter what (small handful of my granola, some grapes, an apple, etc.).

Ellie said; I always look out for creamy sauces, cheese, breading/coating, etc.. Staying away from these can help cut hundreds of calories out of the meal that you probably won't even notice. Some words to stay away from include; au gratin, creamy, crispy, breaded, and fried. But don't assume that something is baked or grilled if you don't see the word "fried", always ask first!

Erin suggested boxing half of your meal. This is especially important in today's mega-meal world where you can buy one entree to feed you for three nights.



Jess said, "Don't feel pressured by others to eat a certain way or eat a certain something that derails you from sticking to your eating plan/needs." Everyone has been in this situation before, where you feel like you should "keep up" with everyone else at the table. But there is a problem with this; a) They may not care about their health and/or weight as much as you do, and b) This may be their first "splurge" in a long time, and they feel they deserve this (which is fine! But you may not be in the same position).

Melinda brought up the issue of buffets. She said she used to teach a class about eating healthy at a buffet. This is the perfect opportunity to say, AVOID BUFFETS AT ALL COSTS! Seriously, if you can, run away. For those of you who have good willpower, that's fine, but for many of us we want to "get our money's worth" and that spells danger.

Sophia said she likes to get butter on her veggies (which is just fine, really) because she feels that the butter makes her feel full, thus she eats less! This s great, but I would also add to this that some people have no clue how much butter is actually on their veggies, therefore they assume that the veggies are low calorie and they psych themselves into eating more, despite actually being full. So if you are not asking for "no butter, or no oil added" be aware that you are consuming at least 100 calories more, so you need to make up for that somewhere.

Joanna says she packs her own salad dressings! This is a great idea, as long as the restaurant is ok with it. Most restaurants don't complain, but they would prefer if you make it discrete ;) I personally just ask for their dressing, but on the side. I love restaurant dressings, and I'm all about FULL FAT varieties (typically oil based). I just dip my fork in the cup and then eat away!

Coming Up

On Saturday I will post some life-saving information about how you can prevent one of the top killers of Americans; Stroke. Strokes have effected my life twice now, in a very negative way, and I hope you learn some things from this post (maybe even share it with loved ones).

Tonight I am going to happy hour with some friends from OSU. Tomorrow, after an afternoon viewing of Sex in the City 2, Nick and I are doing some more drinking in honor of his friend who is turning 30! I may also get to have my first blogger meet-up this weekend! It's going to be a long and very fun few days. I am starting to take advantage of being unemployed now that I know I have a job on the horizon.

Have a great day everyone. Thanks for reading!

19 comments :

  1. All great tips. I always order no cheese or croutons on salads and dressing on the side. Who wants to start with a meal as an appetizer?

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  2. i love that u turned to bloggers to ask for their tips! wow its so amazing reading these.. especially cuz u know its not another celeb telling us what theyre little tips are. this is GREAT STUFF!!! <3

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  3. Fabulous tips. I'm looking forward to reading about stroke information. It's definitely much needed info.

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  4. everyone has such great tips! i think one thing that is very hard is when you don't have choices really like when you go to an event and there are trays of food OR when your order ala carte at a restaurant! THEN what do you do..

    bum bum bum buuuuuuuum

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  5. These are fabulous tips! I don't eat out a lot, so I try to enjoy it when I do. Fun weekend ahead!!

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  6. My favorite tip here is to guzzle water - I definitely do this and it helps!

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  7. Great tips from everyone. You have no idea how many times I have heard someone say they want their moneys worth at the buffet. The trouble in Vegas is that it is hard to avoid when you have many visitors and they all want to go to the buffet at least once. Plus, many of my patients were older and retired and earned free buffet after free buffet. It is so hard to explain this to them, so the hospital agenda for the class included this topic. Isn't that funny. There are so many different issues to address when you are in Vegas and I bet the same can be said for other regions and cities too.

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  8. Great tips! So nice to hear what lots of different people have to say. Those are definitely all the kind of tips that I like to follow when dining out, too.

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  9. I love alllll the tips from the different bloggers! Thanks =)

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  10. Looking forward to the stroke post! I lost my grandpa and uncle to stroke!

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  11. great post and graet tips from fellow bloggers! I ALWAYS usually order a side salad with dressing on the side or no croutons and it helps make me not feel so hungry when the meal comes!!

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  12. I agree with no buffet at any cost!!!

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  13. Good tips! Sounds like you have a jammed packed weekend-have fun!

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  14. Excellent tips. We really like to eat out and there are a lot of good ways to avoid making mistakes. I never thought of bringing my own salad dressing!

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  15. Great tips! I still try to limit eating out as much as I can and usually do eat out once or twice a week. One of my friends and I like to order a couple appetizers and split. If we aren't ordering the healthiest foods, at least we know we are limiting our portions.
    Have a great weekend Gina!

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  16. I've cut back tremendously on dining out since I lost my job last year. When I was working, I didn't have a lot of time to cook some many nights were take outs. Now that I'm at home, I cook every night. Healthier and cheaper. Great tips you have here.

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  17. eek, I didn't know I would be featured, otherwise I would have tried to sound more intelligent and well-versed...nah, haha! just kidding! >__<

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