Eating out while you’re watching what you eat can feel intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! Here is how to navigate restaurants and still reach your goals!
Does eating out at a restaurant give you anxiety when you’re trying to control your weight? Or does looking at a menu leave you totally confused, wondering what you will order and still stay on track? If so, join the club!
Going off your meal plan can be a little scary, especially at first. But the good news is that many, many people have been exactly where you’re at, and experts like our V Shred Custom Coaching team have been helping people figure out healthy restaurant ordering for years.
With the right knowledge, you can definitely go out to eat in a restaurant and still stick to your diet and reach your goals!
Healthy Restaurant Eating Can Be Done!
You probably have vivid memories of going out to eat and eating whatever looked good on the menu — and as much as you wanted. That was your relationship with food then, so it’s easy to think it has to always be that way.
Now you’ve committed to a healthy lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself ever again. You can still go out to eat — you’ll just need to be mindful of your choices, and your portions. It’s going to require learning and then practicing self-control, because you’re working toward a specific goal of losing weight and keeping it off.
There’s still a time and place for the occasional free meal or “cheat meal” to indulge in some of those higher-calorie foods and not wreck your progress. But eating out doesn’t need to be an all-or-nothing decision. And no, don’t worry, we’re not going to tell you to be “that person” who brings turkey and broccoli in Tupperware into the restaurant!
You have plenty of options! Here’s where to start.
Do your research: The smartest approach you can take is to look up the restaurant’s menu online if you can. As much as you can, plan out what you will order before you walk in the door and then stick to it.
Know your numbers: It’s a lot easier to let things get out of control at a restaurant if you don’t have a clear idea about how many calories you’re eating each day. Our calorie and macronutrient in the V Shred app for IOS or Android can give you a personalized daily number based on your body and lifestyle.
Think outside the standard entree: If all the main courses are loaded with sauces and calories with no room for modification, ask yourself if there is a way to lessen the meal’s overall calories with a healthy side dish or a vegetable of the day. Just because french fries are offered as a side doesn’t mean you have to order them.
Embrace the healthy salad: A salad with some protein, healthy fats, and a non-creamy vinaigrette dressing on the side can be a great choice. But keep in mind that a salad is NOT always the best choice. Salads can also be a total calorie bomb at some restaurants.
Need an example? A salmon salad would seem to be a wise choice, right? We looked up the nutrition facts for one portion at a popular chain restaurant — it totals almost 2000 calories!! For a salad!! We aren’t saying you can’t order a salad; just don’t assume they are your friend.
Get picky about meat prep: When it comes to meats, ask if you can order them grilled rather than fried and with no additional sauces, butter, or oil. Most restaurants are happy to accommodate! Same thing with sides! Potatoes and vegetables can almost always be ordered steamed and without all the calorie-rich condiments.
Ask for a box up front: Even “healthy” restaurants can go way overboard with portions. It might be helpful to immediately put half of the portion in a to-go container — or split your meal with someone else.
Skip the apps and desserts: Depending on your situation, rich appetizers and sweet desserts might be worth skipping for now.
Yes, there’s definitely a time and place to cut loose and have anything and everything you want. But that’s a different topic. Learning how to eat out while sticking to your plan is a skill, and it’s one worth learning!
Don’t order hungry: It’s also not a good idea to go to a restaurant when you feel starving. That will only backfire. A tried-and-true approach is to have Sculpt Nation protein shake beforehand so you aren’t tempted to overeat.
Another thing that may help you be less tempted to over-indulge is consistently taking a quality thermogenic that contains ingredients that can help suppress your appetite and curb cravings.
Sculpt Nation BURN EVOLVED is an excellent choice. It contains research-backed ingredients provided in their proper dosage. It’s also backed by a 110% money-back guarantee. If you don’t love it – just send it back for a full refund!
Use Your Fitness Community For Support!
If you are tempted to go back to your old ways and order something you know you probably shouldn’t or overeat — stop, take a second, and remember why you’re looking to change your life in the first place.
Also, speak up! Let your family and friends know that your new lifestyle is important to you. This might keep them from nagging you to go off your plan.
Need ideas about how to order in specific restaurants? Our Facebook Group for men or wwomen can give them. Both groups are packed with thousands of people just like, giving tips and encouragement as they also try to navigate living a healthy lifestyle!
Our trainer team, nutritionists, and staff are also reading your comments and are happy to offer any suggestions!
Need Additional Guidance?
Do you feel like you need some help balancing dieting and your social life, or are looking for a meal plan that can match your tastes, cravings, and lifestyle? We’ve got you covered! We have a team of nutrition experts making custom meal plans for thousands of people every day.