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Restaurant survival, a.k.a. THRIVAL, guide

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Old 05-08-2013, 03:31 PM   #1
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Default Restaurant survival, a.k.a. THRIVAL, guide

Dear All,

My apologies if there's already a similar thread. I looked a bit but didn't see one immediately.

As probably some of you (if not all of you!) can relate, I love food. Just really, really enjoy it. And I adore restaurants. Don't want to give them up--but don't want to continue using them as an excuse to eat way too much of the wrong thing.

Any helpful hints on how I can enjoy the fun and social experience of dining out without binging like a (very happy!) mad woman every time?

Thanks!
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:45 PM   #2
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:49 PM   #3
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Salads. I am eating every day at a restaurant for breakfast and lunch (I skip dinner) for the next two weeks as I am away from home working with colleagues. I order a salad. And in the evening, I agree to meet before or after the restaurant for drinks but don't join the team.

Good luck. It's tough. But it's your mouth and you can control what goes in it with a few good excuses and lots of good choices! There are healthy options on most restaurant menus imo.

Skip dessert. And drink. That also helps me too. Avoid the meat and breads. Simple.
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:51 PM   #4
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I find that it really just takes a little bit of extra planning and research. So many restaurants these days (at least big chains) have special menus... be it gluten free, reduced calorie, low fat, etc. Sometimes you wouldn't know it unless you specifically looked for it. Try going to restaurant websites to see if they offer any special menus.

As far as over-eating. Wow, that's hard. I know that some people deal with this by asking for half of the meal to be boxed up before it comes out. I personally have not done that. I just try to do my best to stop eating when I am satisfied. (Usually, I keep eating beyond the point of being satisfied and will keep going until I am literally too full to eat any more). Sometimes what I will do is just eat a salad as an appetizer so that I don't eat a lot of my main dish. I do this at home too.
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Started out at 405.5 on 7/31/12. Then lost 156 lbs to get down to 249.5 by 7/31/13. In the past year I have put back on over 40 pounds and reached a high of 291.5. But I have recommitted myself and quickly took off ten pounds by 7/31/14. I am now trying to take off the weight I put back on, and then lose the rest of the weight I was originally trying to lose. ---- Starting weight / Low weight / Current Weight / Goal Weight
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:33 PM   #5
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I NEVER eat at a restaurant unless I have seen their menu and the calorie counts before I leave my house! That way I know what I'm going to order and what it is going to "cost" me.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:20 PM   #6
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You could always ask for a healthier options like a grilled chicken breast and a side of veggies. You don't always have to order only what's on the menu.

I've also ordered a side salad and appetizer at restaurants. It's been plenty of food and I'm sure I managed to save on some calories instead of ordering a 1200 calorie plate.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:23 PM   #7
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I calorie count, so I look up menus ahead of time.

Portion out half and put in a take away box immediately. Skip sodas and desserts.

Dressing on the side
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:29 PM   #8
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Meat and veggies. Abstain from bread. Water to drink. Dining out is often very high sodium which can make the scale bounce up - do not panic.

I eat out a couple times a week and my rule is pretty much "stop eating if I have to sigh before taking another bite." I also often eat very lightly all day if I know I'm going out to dinner.

Sometimes it's easier to NOT GO than to sit and jealously watch your friends eat things you know you "shouldn't" eat.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:47 PM   #9
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You already have lots of good advice, but I just wanted to add a link to a blog post by Taralynn McNitt that really helped me out:

Dining Out Do's

It has lots of pictures, examples from all kinds of restaurants, links to nutritional information to popular quick places, and ideas on how to make good choices just about anywhere. I really loved this post, so I figured I would share here, too!
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:48 PM   #10
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Restaurant Food can really fool you so my strategy is to try to stick to one ingredient items rather than saucy foods or salads.

My go to restaurant foods are grilled fish with a side of veggies, grilled chicken with a side of veggies and Ahi Tuna Appetizer.

What I HATE is when the spinach and veggies arrive and I can tell that they are loaded with butter.

I skip bread and dessert, drink unsweetened ice tea (because I like it)

But in general, I find restaurant eating stressful and unpredictable and I try to keep it to a minimum unless I know the food is well prepared and that good options are on the menu.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ubergirl View Post
Restaurant Food can really fool you so my strategy is to try to stick to one ingredient items rather than saucy foods or salads.

My go to restaurant foods are grilled fish with a side of veggies, grilled chicken with a side of veggies and Ahi Tuna Appetizer.

What I HATE is when the spinach and veggies arrive and I can tell that they are loaded with butter.

I skip bread and dessert, drink unsweetened ice tea (because I like it)

But in general, I find restaurant eating stressful and unpredictable and I try to keep it to a minimum unless I know the food is well prepared and that good options are on the menu.
I pretty much do exactly what you do.

They way I read OP's post was that she is a foodie who enjoys the dining experience and that she was looking for something other than the the tired old grilled chicken or fish with veggies. When I eat the grilled fish and veggies, I enjoy it to an extent. But its a lesser of evils sort of thing. I would MUCH prefer to be eating something else!!
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Started out at 405.5 on 7/31/12. Then lost 156 lbs to get down to 249.5 by 7/31/13. In the past year I have put back on over 40 pounds and reached a high of 291.5. But I have recommitted myself and quickly took off ten pounds by 7/31/14. I am now trying to take off the weight I put back on, and then lose the rest of the weight I was originally trying to lose. ---- Starting weight / Low weight / Current Weight / Goal Weight
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:39 PM   #12
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Good topic.

I was just thinking about this because we are going away next weekend for a few nights. Ideally, I like to look up the restaurant calorie counts before I go but that only works for chains really.

I think I'm going to stick with things where I can at least look up the calorie counts and get some sort of estimate. For me, it's not as important how much I eat on a given day, I will let myself go higher. What's important to me is that I know how much I ate.

So avoiding stuff like mashed potatoes, which is impossible to estimate, versus a baked potato, even with butter, which you can calculate. That kind of thing.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joefla70 View Post
I pretty much do exactly what you do.

They way I read OP's post was that she is a foodie who enjoys the dining experience and that she was looking for something other than the the tired old grilled chicken or fish with veggies. When I eat the grilled fish and veggies, I enjoy it to an extent. But its a lesser of evils sort of thing. I would MUCH prefer to be eating something else!!
LOL. I would almost always be rather eating a burger and fries, but fortunately, I do love fish when it's well-prepared....
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End of 2014 Challenge

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SUCCESS WITHOUT KRYPTONITE!
First Mini-Goal: 260 by vacation.
met 7/25/14
Second Mini-goal 240.5 Half of regain gone.
Third mini-goal below 230 by the end of 2014
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:52 PM   #14
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Ask to sub extra veg for the potato choice, especially if it's fries. I rarely end up eating restaurant veggies, but at least I don't end up mindlessly eating the fries.
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanG View Post
Salads. I am eating every day at a restaurant for breakfast and lunch (I skip dinner) for the next two weeks as I am away from home working with colleagues. . . . I order a salad. And in the evening, I agree to meet before or after the restaurant for drinks but don't join the team.

Good luck. It's tough.

Skip dessert. And drink. That also helps me too. Avoid the meat and breads. Simple.
Yikes, yeah, being away from home and having restaurants as your mainstay would make it extra tough. Sounds like you have a great strategy though! Thanks for luck.
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