South Beach Diet - eating out phase 2
07-22-2010, 12:24 PM
Hello....i know eating out in phase 1 was a no no...however working in a large city and taking the train i can sometimes not have time to make lunch in the am. and there are soo many fantastic options here!!!!
any tips on safe eating out meals for lunch on phase 2?? thanks!
07-22-2010, 12:34 PM
The hard part is that you never really know what is in something. Obviously you would avoid anything not allowed in PH2. Salads with protein work well for me and I always get the dressing on the side. I also often ask for double veggies and not starch when I order an entree. One other tip, when possible I look at a menu online in advance and plan what I will order so I don't get too tempted when I get there.
07-22-2010, 02:28 PM
I agree with Waisting, having general knowledge of the menu before you go is a life saver.
Sticking with lean protein (grilled chicken, sirloin, fish) and veggies (ask for them dry - sometimes they come drenched in butter) is always my go-to. I can gauge 3-4 oz. of meat by comparing it to the palm of my hand. Anything else goes into a to-go box. Most places are more than happy to switch out a side to something more appropriate. One of our favorite restaurants makes their own pasta and serves it with every entree. I always ask for more spinach or veggies instead of pasta (it's a shame, really) and they are happy to do so.
Salads are always a tough one. They seem like they are healthy, but so many are topped with full-fat cheeses, nuts, and unhealthy dressing. Ask for a light dressing on the side, cheese on the side or not at all and anything else that you would think that would need to be watched (fried tortilla strips, croutons, etc.) to not be put on the salad at all. It's a pain to have to go through it all, which is why I usually just stick to lean protein and veggies.
07-22-2010, 03:00 PM
At the Texas Steakhouse here (for example), you can get a lean protein (a steak, yummy tex-mex chicken, etc). Instead of having a regular potato, you have the option to get a SWEET potato, and of course there's the veggies. That would be a nice and hearty meal.
Another example. I went to Taco Bell not too long ago, and I ordered those (supposed healthy) fresco tacos. I avoided the white wraps like the plague, and just ate the filling with some reduced-fat sourcream. They had a lot of lettuce and chopped tomatoes on those fresco tacos so it was a good option. Had a side of pintos and cheese. (Although I'm sure the pintos and cheese contained some fat that I didn't want to know about but definitely the next best thing on the menu. Even their salads contained shells or taco strips. Still you could get those and throw away the shell. Maybe even ask them to put it on top of lettuce. I tried at my local Taco Bell and they wouldn't do it.) Still, I find you can go virtually anywhere and find something OP, even if you have to edit out part of your meal. (Like taking away the taco wraps and giving them to your kid. That way it's not going to waste.)
But salads are usually my go-to choice when I go some where. Like everyone said, ask for dressing and cheeses on the side. Normally when I have take-out salads, I ask for NO cheese because I know it's not going to be reduced fat cheese. Then I ask for dressing or dressing packets on the side. The dressing packets (like you can get at Burger King) are better because you can read the nutritional info on it to check for sugars.) At a more upscale restaurant, some of them actually make their own dressings. Ask what's in it. A local restaurant here makes the most fabulous ranch I've ever had in my life, with a hint of mustard flavor in it... they use just the tiniest bit of sugar.
07-22-2010, 03:42 PM
I even ate at restaurants in Phase I. Just ordered a steak, salmon or grilled chicken breast with salad and extra veggies instead of the starch. A few steakhouses around here offer sweet potatoes too. I have gone to more upscale Mexican restaurants and ordered a salad with black beans &/or grilled chicken, pico de gallo, salsa & a tiny bit of cheese. I ate at Olive Garden once and had salad and minestrone. I just skipped the pasta in the soup. Don't be afraid to ask how things are prepared and to have yours made without oil & with dressings on the side. Most better restaurants are accomodating. Tell them not to leave any bread at the table. I agree it's very helpful to look up menus on the internet.
07-22-2010, 05:32 PM
I leave my house at 4:45 every morning, so I know how tight time can be, so I always make my lunch the night before, have it ready in the fridge and throw it in my bag and leave. Saves tons of time in the morning. At night, it takes me about 5 minutes to throw some spinach in a bowl and dump leftover dinner on top of that.
Restaurants...if you go to the same ones all the time, get familiar with the menus. Then ask for what you want. I always ask them to replace the iceberg with spinach, leave off any cheeses. Grill or steam my veggies in olive oil and never in 3 years have they not accomodated me (except once in a German restaurant when I ended up with a puny dinner salad)
I tend to go with seafood salads or in a pinch chicken salads and am very specific about what I want. Most chefs are glad to help. I don't go to fast food places, period.
07-23-2010, 09:14 AM
THANK YOU SOO MUCH for all your advice. i am super nervous about p2 and gaining the weight i have lost back, or being out of control with what i eat. so far sticking to 1 carb and 1 fruit a day and enjoying them.
thanks again! happy friday!