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Master the Art of Slimming Down When Dining Out

Question for you: If you were going to be really honest with yourself, how many times a week do you eat out?

Sit down restaurant or fast food. Work lunch, date night, or quick drive thru on the way to dropping your kid off at all counts.

So, how many is it?

Today, I'm here with some real talk...and actionable tips! I've been having LOTS of these conversations lately both in my DMs and with my coaching clients.

For so many, dining out is a part of life.

If you're trying to lose weight, navigating these food choices and staying on track can feel like tiptoeing through a minefield. You think you make a great choice but the scale just won't budge!

Sound familiar?

Let me share some insights and strategies to help you stay on track so you can keep taking steps forward towards your goals!

First Thing's First, We Gotta Face The Fats... Oops, I mean facts. 😉

When we eat out, we’re almost always faced with meals that are packed with more calories, fats, and sugar than we expect. It’s like trying to swim against a current—it’s not impossible, but it’s definitely a challenge. Yes, you can make the best choice possible (keep reading!) but many of my clients have found that opting to eat at home or bringing home cooked food with when it makes sense (vs. drive thru) aligns better with their weight loss goals and makes the journey much smoother.

How often you dine out matters.

If this is a once every few weeks thing, it's no big deal, but if we're eating out multiple times a week, we gotta learn to navigate with the best of 'em!

Being Uber Intentional

Intention is your secret weapon when dining out. It’s not about raining on your parade but rather about empowering you to make choices that serve your goals. Choose restaurants with options that support your goals, like those offering single ingredient foods on the menu. Think chicken breast, lean steak options, grilled fish, green veggies, rice, potato, fruit—the classics. And don’t shy away from customizing your order to fit your needs. EVERYTHING is cooked in fat at restaurants...

Steamed? Served with or cooked in fat.

Broiled? Added fat when finished.

Grilled? The grill is slathered in oil before cooking.

Dressings and sauces? Fat, Sugar, Fat, Sugar.

The solution? Ask for what you want! You’re the customer here and most places are happy to accommodate!

Realize What You're Up Against

When weight loss is your goal, at the end of the day you have to eat less calories than you are burning to lose weight. When you dine out, portions are BIG (usually more than twice what an appropriate serving size should be.) People typically go to a restaurant and expect a delicious meal and a big portion. Most people aren’t going out to eat expecting to get a light & healthy meal. Couple big portions with high calorie foods & preparation methods and you will feel like you're swimming upstream with a weight on your back trying to make progress.

Top Tips for Success: Let's Arm You With Practical Tips

  • Scout ahead: Opt for restaurants that publish their menu online so you can plan your order in advance. It’s one less decision to make in the moment. Many chain restaurants publish their nutrition information online as well so you can really dig into the menu and make the best choice.

  • Side swap: Ask for sauces and dressings on the side to control the extras. You'll be in control of how much you add and your taste buds won’t miss a beat, I promise.

  • Snack Advance: Avoid diving into the breadbasket or chips & salsa by having a satisfying snack before you go. Think a protein-packed snack to keep hunger at bay.

  • Slow down: Embrace mindful eating by savoring each bite and putting your fork down between mouthfuls. You're there to enjoy the moment and people too-it's not a race.

  • Sip Smart: If you decide to indulge in a drink, opt for lower-calorie options like spirits on the rocks or a standard 5oz pour of dry wine. Just say NO to the sugary cocktails. If you want to lose weight, drinking should be the strong exception when dining out, not the rule.

Remember, navigating restaurant menus doesn’t have to derail your progress but you do need to be intentional and think ahead! With a little foresight and a dash of intentionality, you can enjoy the experience AND keep progressive towards your health goals! 🙌

Hopefully now you feel better armed and educated to make the decisions that make the most sense for you. If you read this and thought "HALP! This is me!" I'd love to chat. Book some 1:1 time with me here!


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