**EDIT: Somehow this post published its self without me telling it to and as a result was unedited. I fixed it. Sorry!**
It’s been a while since I posted anything about my weight loss journey. At my weekly weigh in on Monday, I realized that I had lost 30 pounds. Slowly and steadily, I am meeting every weight loss goal I set for myself. Small, attainable goals are the key to my success: if I set the bar too high (or in this case, too low!) I run the risk of failing, and that is the last thing I need.
Thirty pounds down, so many more to go. When I hit 40 pounds lost, I plan on going out to eat at a favored restaurant for a night of diet depravity. But going out to eat doesn’t have to be an exercise in diet destroying. There are plenty of strategies you can employ to stay healthy and sane while indulging in a night out. I do it all the time! So I though I would compile a few of my best tips for those of you who, like me, are fighting to lose weight in a world of deep fried calories.
- Skip complimentary bread baskets. If you really want a piece, take it. Then pass the basket far away.
- Some restaurants have entire menu sections devoted to lighter fares or even Weight Watchers meals. Go for it!
- Many dinner portions are big enough, and have calories enough, for two people. Split them with a friend or put half into a to-go box before you chow down.
- Some restaurant salads can be worse than a burger, especially when laden with fried chicken, creamy dressings, etc. Opt for lean, grilled meats and a balsamic vinaigrette instead.
- Skip dishes that involve cream sauces, loads of cheese, are fried, or which contain a lot of bread or butter. Pasta is a major problem. So are a lot of sandwiches.
- Eat slowly and drink a lot of water. There is no law saying you have to clean your plate!
- Inform your waiter of your dietary needs and ask them to recommend a healthier dish from the menu. You can also ask them to inform the chef not to add any additional butter or oil to your meal, substitute fries for a light salad, etc. Don’t be afraid to speak up.
- Make use of that little black nutrition book available at most restaurants by request. Weight Watchers folks can use it to calculate the points of a meal while everyone else can use it to get an idea of how healthy their dish will be. Don’t be afraid of this book. Use it to your advantage!
- Order water and stick with it. Unsweetened tea is also fine. Sweetened teas, sodas and alcoholic beverages have a ton of sugar and calories.
- Opt for one of those little dessert shooters in the tiny glass instead of a full dessert. Or, split a dessert with a friend…and let them eat most of it.
Eating out should be fun and a treat, not an ordeal to be dreaded. It is perfectly possible to dine at a restaurant and not blow all your hard work away with one meal.