We get it. Friends call at the last minute and want to meet up at a nearby restaurant. Hubby wants to take you out on the town for dinner and a movie. You come home and there’s nothing in the fridge to eat. Life is messy but that doesn’t mean you have to derail yourself or become a hermit. Check out these 5 tips to help you modify your meals on the go, keep your nutrition on track AND keep your social life in tact.
Tip #1 – DISSECT THE MENU:
Look for indicators of how meals are prepared. Is it battered, fried, grilled, cured or baked? Battered and fried foods are a sure fire way to go overboard with those calories. So go for the lighter options instead like grilled and baked. Keep an eye out for sauces or marinades too. Order your food naked – and get those sauces on the side.
Tip #2 – GET TOPPINGS ON THE SIDE:
Speaking of on the side, there is no greater calorie bomb than the trusty old condiment. Sauces, dressing, cheeses, cream, nuts and croutons should all be requested as side items, or left off all together. Pro-tip: Dip your fork into your dressing or sauce THEN stab your food. By not drowning your food with the entire serving, your fork will help control your portions but still give you that flavor you love.
Tip #3 – TAKE HALF HOME:
Decide in advance not to finish your meal. As soon as you place your order ask the waiter/waitress to bring you a to go box and split your meal the second it hits the table to prevent overindulging. You can even weigh your leftovers at home to get a more accurate indicator of what was in the meal.
Tip #4 – PASS ON THE BUTTER & OILS:
Paula Deene would not be happy about this – but as you order your food ask that it be prepared dry or ask if cooking spray is an option. Never be afraid to get specific with your waiter or waitress!
Tip #5 – WHEN IN DOUBT, ASK:
How is this cooked? Is it skinless? Is it breaded? How much do you use? How big is the portion? Take control of the ordering process. If your waiter or waitress doesn’t know an answer have them go find out from the cook staff. Too many people are afraid to do this for fear of upsetting or inconveniencing someone. But remember – it is your food and you are the customer.