The Lose Weight for the Last Time System

Welcome to my blog

If you're looking for articles featuring inspiration or the latest in health and weight loss news, look no further.

Welcome to my blog

If you're looking for articles featuring inspiration or the latest in health and weight loss news, look no further.

Categories

  1. Healthy Eating   
       3 posts
  1. Meal planning   
       2 posts
  1. Balance   
       1 posts
  1. Cheat Day   
       1 posts
  1. Parenting   
       1 posts
  1. Clean eating   
       1 posts
  1. Gluten Free   
       1 posts
  1. Inspiration   
       1 posts
  1. Guest Post   
       1 posts

Eating Out Really Can Be This Easy

Isabel & StewartOne of my favorite nights of the week is date night with my husband. Not only do we get to try out all the different local restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina (and there are a ton of them), but we get a chance to catch up on our week and have an uninterrupted adult conversation (something that is hard to do when you have small children).

Now I know what you're thinking,

"Isabel, how do you go out to dinner while following a healthy eating plan? It seems so hard!"

I can definitely see how at a first glance, it may seem like going out to dinner has the ability to derail your health efforts, (and, yes, with the wrong food choices it could). But, by using the following "eating out" strategies that I use every single week, you can enjoy a great dinner out with family and friends without interrupting your healthy eating plan.

1. Make your dinner out your free meal for the week.

Isabel at Stars

Many people ask me what my theory is behind a "cheat meal." Well, first, I don't really love the word "cheat." Because I am a strong proponent of developing a healthy way of eating for life, I don't perceive a meal that is a bit off the usual eating plan as "cheating" on your diet (FYI - I don't really like the word "diet" either). If you go out and there is something on the menu that you really, really want (taking into consideration that you may want to stay away from certain things that make you feel terrible like wheat or gluten) just go ahead and order it and let's just let that be your "free" meal for that week. For me, that is usually a sushi/sashimi dinner of my choice with a seaweed salad and maybe some green tea ice cream for dessert. There are definitely ingredients used in these items that I would not eat on a regular basis, but for a once a week meal, it does not make or break my healthy eating routine.

Remember that the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to develop a way of life and an eating plan that is realistic and sustainable. Completely shutting yourself off from the outside world is neither realistic nor sustainable and a little something different in your routine for the week may be good for your brain and your body.

2. Look at the restaurant menu before you go.

I do this all the time (thanks to the power of the internet). Almost every restaurant I have been to has their menu online. If it doesn't, many of them are more than happy to talk to you on the phone and tell you what their main dishes are. When looking through a restaurant menu, I pay close attention to what seafood and chicken dishes they offer. If I know the red meat is grass fed, I may order that. Look for options offered "grilled, baked, or broiled" as they are the least likely to come in a heavy sauce.

When in doubt ASK, ASK and then ASK again. Many people are embarrassed to really ask the waiter the ingredients or how items are prepared, but remember, they are there to serve and cater to you, so don't hesitate to dig deep to get the meal you want (and I know this goes without saying, but please ask politely...hehehe).

3. Create your own dinner.

Burton's Grill

If I don't see a meal on the menu that is "Isabel Approved" I make one up myself. I usually start off by saying to the waiter, "Would it be ok if I created my own meal from some of these delicious items?" The answer has always been yes. Never once has anyone said to me, "Lady, you're crazy."...even if that's what they were thinking. Only once did I have a waitress in a small town in Texas say to me, "Sweetie, you don't want the pasta? Are you sure??? You don't know what you're missing." But she was sweet and just joking with me and my meal did come out perfect...broiled salmon with a side of broccoli instead of the pasta.

Your best bet at a restaurant is to choose some seafood (preferably wild) or chicken alongside some vegetables and a salad. Since you're out and not at home, you'll probably have to make peace with the fact that your food may not be as high quality as it would be if you were home, and it may not be cooked in the best oil (which is why I tell them to keep the oil and butter very light). If you find a restaurant that offers sweet potatoes, wild rice or quinoa, those would be great additions as well.

I find that for many people, having good available options when going out to eat is not really the biggest obstacle. The harder part is staying away from all of the food items that you know are not the very best for your health. In my next newsletter I will be sure to cover the "mental game" behind going out to dinner and saying NO to all of those items that are better left on the table (like the bread basket!).

Until then, enjoy your time out with your family and friends and remember that eating healthy is a way to make your life better, not stop you from doing the things you enjoy.

Categories

  1. Healthy Eating   
       3 posts
  1. Meal planning   
       2 posts
  1. Balance   
       1 posts
  1. Cheat Day   
       1 posts
  1. Parenting   
       1 posts
  1. Clean eating   
       1 posts
  1. Gluten Free   
       1 posts
  1. Inspiration   
       1 posts
  1. Guest Post   
       1 posts

Our Newsletter

Join! our exclusive e-mail list for insider tips on health, nutrition, and weight loss.
Join! 957,715 other readers.