One of the biggest questions I get from my clients is how they can eat at restaurants while on their macro plans. Going out to eat at a restaurant is one of the most stressful things to think about for most people on a diet/nutrition plan. But seriously, it doesn’t have to be that way and it shouldn’t. Sacrificing your happiness with friends, family and general life experiences will bite you in the butt when you’re older and sitting alone without great memories to talk about.
When I go out to eat, I usually try to pick something that is still within my normal lifestyle, but sometimes, I don’t. I order whatever I want whether that be pizza, cheese boards, big fat burgers, pasta etc…
I definitely encourage you to find a balance when it comes to your nutrition regime, so that you can indulge in those foods without throwing off your entire mindset or body. Today however, I want to tell you what I do when I eat out at restaurants and have chosen to stick to my usual eating habits.
1. Scan the menu for salads, sandwiches and protein dishes.
I usually try to find a salad, a sandwich or a chicken/beef/fish dish first and then I break the dish down further to see what I need to eliminate or substitute. For salads, I always ask for dressing on the side and I always make sure the salad has a protein source (chicken, beef etc…) and a fat (avocado, cheese, nuts). For sandwiches, I try to find something without spreads or sauces (those calories add up quick) and one that has a protein and fat source (chicken and avocado is a perfect example). Then, I try to sub the bread for sliced whole wheat if possible as big rolls and buns are usually pretty heavy. At brunch, eggs with toast and sausage is my go-to. Protein dishes are a great choice too, but I always ask for sauce on the side as well (to control portions and because I have a garlic allergy and garlic is in everything!)
2. Check online beforehand for nutrition info if you can.
Some restaurants, especially chain restaurants have nutrition info online, which is super helpful! You can also check Nutritionix for information too! Try to find something that seems filling and that isn’t loaded with unnecessary calories.
This is what I have been doing for a while and what has worked for me. Like I said, I don’t always choose a healthy option, but if I want to, these two ‘tricks’ are great to use and have worked for my clients too. This is why I hate cookie cutter eat this/not that nutrition plans. What’s the fun in bringing your tupperware of chicken and broccoli to a restaurant? How are you ever going to enjoy social events if you’re stuck with that kind of mindset? Think long-term when choosing a nutrition coach. Is what they preach going to help me achieve my goals and improve my quality of life, or will I feel stuck in a rigid routine that prevents me from living my life?
Now you tell me…
What’s your favorite dish to order at a restaurant?
Burgers or sandwiches?
Do you have any food allergies? Where are all my fellow garlic allergy people at?