Dining out doesn’t have to be a disaster! Here are 9 ways to enjoy your meal without overindulging.
• Plan ahead. Choose a restaurant where you know there will be healthy options. If unfamiliar with the restaurant, check the menu and choose a meal ahead of time.
• Portion control. Order a high protein appetizer such as shrimp cocktail as your meal or choose a healthy option off the child’s menu. Some restaurants now have “tapas” (meaning “little bites” in Spanish) which are generally 1/4th to 1/3rd of a regular meal. Also, take advantage of our MyNewSelf dining card which is provided to each bariatric surgery patient. This card informs the restaurant staff that you have had a weight loss surgical procedure that limits the amount of food you can eat. Most restaurants will honor this card allowing you to order a smaller portion and receive a discount on your meal.
• Special diet requests. To improve the nutrition of your meal and save calories, don’t hesitate to ask for sauce/dressings on the side, green salad in place of fries, or to leave the cheese and bacon off entrees.
• Know menu terms. Battered, crispy, creamed, pan-fried or buttered suggest high-calorie foods while baked, braised, broiled, poached, roasted or steamed refer to lower-calorie options.
• Pre-dinner carbs. Avoid pre-dinner bread, rolls, or tortilla chips by asking that they be removed from the table.
• Added fats. Ask that your meal and veggies be prepared without added butter or oils.
• Salads. Boost the protein in your salad by adding lean chicken, tuna, seafood, beans, cottage cheese, or sunflower seeds. Limit dressing to 1 Tbsp low-fat. (Avoid fat-free as they usually have added sugars).
• Wrap your sandwich. Wrap your sandwich in a lettuce leaf! This will save you approximately 140 calories.
• Low-calorie toppings. Greek yogurt, horseradish, or salsas are acceptable choices you can enjoy on a baked potato. It’s okay to have a ¼ baked potato when dining out as long as you eat your protein first!