100 lb. Club - Restaurant survival, a.k.a. THRIVAL, guide




EvieBaby
05-08-2013, 03:31 PM
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!


elvislover324
05-08-2013, 03:45 PM
.

IanG
05-08-2013, 03:49 PM
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.


joefla70
05-08-2013, 03:51 PM
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.

CherryPie99
05-08-2013, 04:33 PM
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.

PreciousMissy
05-08-2013, 05:20 PM
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.

Mozzy
05-08-2013, 05:23 PM
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

krampus
05-08-2013, 05:29 PM
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.

opheliaphoenix
05-08-2013, 05:47 PM
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 (http://undressedskeleton.tumblr.com/diningout)

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!

ubergirl
05-08-2013, 05:48 PM
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.

joefla70
05-08-2013, 05:56 PM
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!!

AnnMarie77
05-08-2013, 06:39 PM
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.

ubergirl
05-08-2013, 08:05 PM
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....

caryesings
05-08-2013, 08:52 PM
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.

EvieBaby
05-09-2013, 03:28 PM
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. :)

joefla70
05-09-2013, 03:42 PM
LOL. I would almost always be rather eating a burger and fries, but fortunately, I do love fish when it's well-prepared....

I too enjoy fish when its well prepared. The trick is finding places that can do it! I have a few go-to restaurants that I know will prepare fish to my liking. But if I go to an place that isn't familiar to me, I will be hesitant unless its a seafood restaurant. Even then, seafood restaurants can mess up a fish dish!

On the other hand, its much easier to find a good burger!

EvieBaby
05-09-2013, 03:42 PM
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.

It is hard. At least for me! :) I did eat only half one of my meals the other day, and took the rest to go. That was a good first step! ;) And I'm just as happy with water with lemon as with a drink, so that's also helpful . . . Have salad as an appy instead of something heavier/more calorie is great advice.

Thanks for your input!

EvieBaby
05-09-2013, 03:45 PM
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.

Wow! You are amazing. And your willpower/committment has really, really paid off. I'm hoping to not have to swear off restaurants . . . but will consider doing so if I can't develop a way of having them be a part of my healthy eating.

Thanks for your comment and inspiration!

EvieBaby
05-09-2013, 03:49 PM
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.

Ah, I love the last idea . . . b/c I love appies and they, esp. with a salad, definitely eat like a meal.

As for the first part, this is probably a terrible admission, but I know I can order low cal/plain things . . . It's just I really love food and the eating experience. Someone else suggested I'm a "foodie" and that really is the thing. I like gourmet offerings (cooked for me and cooked _by_ me). I'm hoping to find a way to not have to entirely give up that part of my personality/fun. We'll see.

Thank you so much for your response. Lots of food for thought in this whole thread now. Pun intended! :)

EvieBaby
05-09-2013, 03:50 PM
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

Good advice, thanks. I think planning ahead will be a big help . . .

EvieBaby
05-09-2013, 03:57 PM
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.

Lots of good things in your advice. Thanks! Especially the last point, lol! :) I'm a good cook--could start having events at my house instead of going out . . . less expensive, better quality--and can cook to fit my calorie/health desires. :)

EvieBaby
05-09-2013, 03:59 PM
[FONT="Georgia"]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 (http://undressedskeleton.tumblr.com/diningout)

Thank you so much! That is a great post. :) Actually it is an AMAZING post. So inspiring and soooo delicious. A great reminder that healthy eating can still be emotionally, socially, and tastily scrumptious. :) (More satisfying, actually, than eating crappy junk!) Her pictures are beautiful and you know each meal is a treat for every sense--taste, sight, and smell.

ubergirl
05-09-2013, 04:06 PM
I also often eat very lightly all day if I know I'm going out to dinner.

This is a trick that a skinny friend of mine uses, and inadvertently last week, I tried it. I ate one egg for breakfast, and then didn't have time to eat lunch (I was traveling) ended up skipping lunch, which I don't normally do. I count calories, and realized that when I got to dinner I had 1000 calories to play with. I ate a good meal, but did not go overboard, and because it was planned, I felt fine about it. I think that is a technique I could put in my bag of tricks-- to occasionally skip a meal to allow for a bigger restaurant meal when the occasion calls for it.

EvieBaby
05-09-2013, 04:09 PM
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.

Thanks for your feedback, Uber. I'm fortunate in that I really like "clean" food and good for you food--naturally have no problem avoiding sweets or icky sauces, too much butter, etc. And I hear you on unsweetened Iced Tea. (Later in the month, I'll share super delicous blends I make myself. Super easy but feel like a slightly extravagant treat. :))

EvieBaby
05-09-2013, 04:11 PM
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, yes, you were reading my mind *exactly*! Got lots of good advice here though. :)

EvieBaby
05-09-2013, 04:14 PM
Good topic.

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.

.

For me, too--and even more important *what* I eat. If I feel I overate on veggie stirfry, oh well. If I've eaten a whole bag of chips . . . No good at all.

PreciousMissy
05-09-2013, 05:13 PM
I'm hoping to find a way to not have to entirely give up that part of my personality/fun. We'll see.

Thank you so much for your response. Lots of food for thought in this whole thread now. Pun intended! :)

I think it's great you're trying to find ways to make healthy habits a part of your life rather than denying yourself something you love and being miserable. I think that's what's going to make you successful!

EvieBaby
05-09-2013, 06:03 PM
I think it's great you're trying to find ways to make healthy habits a part of your life rather than denying yourself something you love and being miserable. I think that's what's going to make you successful!

Dear Precious Missy,

I so hope you're right! Thank you so much for your encouraging words. :)

Silverfire
05-10-2013, 12:33 PM
have you tried "eat this not that"? Pretty cool books showing you some of your best options at most common food chains.

EvieBaby
05-10-2013, 04:08 PM
have you tried "eat this not that"? Pretty cool books showing you some of your best options at most common food chains.

No, I hadn't heard of it before. I'll try to find it. Thanks!

Elladorine
05-10-2013, 05:05 PM
No, I hadn't heard of it before. I'll try to find it. Thanks!
You can check out their website (http://eatthis.menshealth.com/home) to get a taste of the books. It's not only informative, but it's fun to read! :D

I eat out a lot, and I've still been successful. :) Whenever I'm going to dine someplace new or unfamiliar, I try to look up nutrition information before I even leave home. That way I can make a decision on something that sounds both good to me and healthy enough before I get all caught up in my hunger and emotions once I arrive. I don't even have to look at the menu and get tempted by anything else. After a while, I sort of mentally blocked out the unhealthy items anyway. If I can't look up the nutrition ahead of time, I often scout them through my smartphone or look for something "safe" to order, and look to see if they have a special section for the more health-conscious. I most often eat at particular places though and already have certain go-to items to choose from that I know I'll be happy with.

When I first started, I actually made a list of the restaurants I most frequent, looked up their nutrition info, and wrote lists of acceptable meals into a little notebook to carry in my purse. I relied on the notebook until I got more comfortable and familiar with what I was doing. Maybe that would help you as well? :)

PreciousMissy
05-10-2013, 05:51 PM
When I first started, I actually made a list of the restaurants I most frequent, looked up their nutrition info, and wrote lists of acceptable meals into a little notebook to carry in my purse. I relied on the notebook until I got more comfortable and familiar with what I was doing. Maybe that would help you as well? :)

That's a great idea for someone counting calories or doing WW!

Pink Hurricane
05-11-2013, 09:30 AM
If I am able to, I always try to check the menu beforehand online and to double check the exact ingredients. If I am not able to do that, I try to play it safe with what I know is mostly okay: grilled, whole wheat, veggies, salads without a ton of dressing, minus croutons, etc.

I always try to make it a point to check out the nutritional menu!

EvieBaby
05-14-2013, 03:05 PM
You can check out their website (http://eatthis.menshealth.com/home) to get a taste of the books. It's not only informative, but it's fun to read! :D ... Maybe that would help you as well? :)

Thank you for the website link. It's a fantastic resource! And yes, your excellent advice will REALLY HELP me. :) :) Thx!

EvieBaby
05-14-2013, 03:07 PM
If I am able to, I always try to check the menu beforehand online and to double check the exact ingredients.

Dear Pink,

Yes, I think planning ahead is the best strategy for me, too. If I know what I'm going to order, I can stay on track and not get sidelined by spontenaity. :)

Thanks for your feedback!

CherryPie99
05-14-2013, 03:32 PM
Don't think this has been mentioned -

this app:http://www.healthyandfitcommunities.com/iphone-application/restaurant-nutrition

Has all the calorie counts for popular restaurants.

I don't have an Iphone, but DH downloaded it to his Ipod and it is awesome.

jen

rodeogirl
05-14-2013, 05:46 PM
I'm in the mindset this time around of doing this for the long haul so my strategy is this:


Eat out less frequently.
Eat very lightly during the day before going out to eat.
When I do eat out make better choices (no soda, no dessert, forgo the bread)
Enjoy myself - depriving myself isn't worth it. It'll make me give up on my healthier lifestyle altogether. The last time I ate out I had a beer, a fatty cheeseburger, and fries. My net calories for the day were still negative (I'd done a 4.5 mile hike that afternoon) but not as negative as it could be. I'm ok with that.

joefla70
05-14-2013, 05:56 PM
I'm in the mindset this time around of doing this for the long haul so my strategy is this:


Eat out less frequently.
Eat very lightly during the day before going out to eat.
When I do eat out make better choices (no soda, no dessert, forgo the bread)
Enjoy myself - depriving myself isn't worth it. It'll make me give up on my healthier lifestyle altogether. The last time I ate out I had a beer, a fatty cheeseburger, and fries. My net calories for the day were still negative (I'd done a 4.5 mile hike that afternoon) but not as negative as it could be. I'm ok with that.


Sounds like a great strategy for long term success. Well done!

GordonGirl16
05-14-2013, 08:38 PM
I don't think anyone has mentioned this site yet...
http://www.exercise4weightloss.com/weight-watchers-points.html
It has WW points (both PP and original) for restaurant chains, but even if you do not do WW it lists all the nutritional information too. I find it very helpful for planning ahead when I go out to eat, so I can plan my splurges :) Good Luck!

Elladorine
05-15-2013, 02:09 PM
Don't think this has been mentioned -

this app:http://www.healthyandfitcommunities.com/iphone-application/restaurant-nutrition

Has all the calorie counts for popular restaurants.

I don't have an Iphone, but DH downloaded it to his Ipod and it is awesome.

jen
Thank you so much for this! :hug: I've looked for an app like this but somehow didn't have any luck. I actually had fun browsing through the various menus last night. :lol: