For many of our medical weight loss clients, eating in restaurants can present a challenge. You want to go out and have fun, but without breaking the resolutions you’ve made for your health. These three tips can show you the main pitfalls of restaurant food, and what to do about them.
Manage your portion sizes. The main problem with restaurant food comes down to the unrealistic portion sizes. In many cases, a restaurant entree is really enough for two people! So, this presents an obvious solution: Consider inviting a like-minded friend or your partner, and share a meal (it’s cheaper, too!) Or, ask for a to-go box when your meal first arrives, and box up half of it. And luckily, many restaurants now feature “light” sections of their menus, with scaled-down portions or lower-calorie versions of some dishes.
Watch out for added calories. Obviously, restaurants hope you enjoy their food, and are motivated to keep coming back for more. So they will often add cheap sources of flavor to their meals, like extra sugar, salt, or fats. Look for menu items without a ton of added butter or sugary toppings. In some cases you could even ask to speak with the chef, and ask if there’s a way to prepare you a light version of a favorite entree.
Avoid social pressure. When you first begin your medical weight loss plan, peer pressure can be a difficult obstacle. Seeing others ordering sugary cocktails and tempting appetizers can undermine your will power. At this time you might find that sharing your goals with friends before going out can garner you the support you need. Suggesting a restaurant that doesn’t serve alcohol, and focuses on healthier food options, can prevent many of these situations. Or, focus on socializing with health-conscious friends until you feel more able to resist temptation.
We want to help you meet your medical weight loss goals, but without sacrificing all the fun in life! For more guidance on sticking to your plan, let’s discuss your particular challenges at our next appointment.