So this is a fun topic.
Let’s talk going out to eat.
I LOVE going out to eat. Dinner. Lunch. Brunch. Breakfast. ….Brunch….IT’S MY FAVORITE THING TO DO.
Someone actually asked me the other day what I spend the most money on – clothes, shoes, bags, skincare, make-up? No….no definitely not. The answer is for sure going out to eat/cocktails. I just love it.
When I used to go out to eat, I’d go HAM. I’d be like welp, screw it, I’m going off my diet so I’m gonna eat alllll the fooooods. Sound familiar?
It wasn’t until I started to MAJORLY listen to my body and hunger cues, stop counting calories, and start eating PHFF and just overall started having a healthy approach to food (which honestly followed forcing myself to do all of the above), that going out to eat became NBD.
So, when I go out to eat, here’s exactly what I do:
- Scan the menu for protein options. Do I want chicken? A burger? Fish? I take some inventory of what’s happening on the menu.
- I decide what my carb sources are gonna be. Am I gonna go with a salad with lots of veggies, or do I REALLY a sandwich? Or do I REALLY want fries? What am I craving?
- I pick ONE starchy carb (unless I’m doing a salad in which case I may not do any starchy carbs). I decide if I’m gonna do bread, fries, potatoes, beans, pasta, rice, or tortillas. I only pick one. If I want a sandwich, I don’t do fries. If I want tacos, I don’t do rice and beans. With starchy carbs, I ALWAYS only eat half.
- I scan the menu for veggies – can I add a veggie side? I really try to include some veg if I’m not getting a salad. I’m in the south, so I LOVE ordering collard greens.
- I double check to be sure I’ve got some healthy fat happening. This is pretty easy – you don’t find a lot of low-fat options at restaurants, anyways! But let’s say I’m getting a turkey burger w no bun and a side of broccoli? I’m for sure loading up on extra avocado on that turkey patty.
- If I order an appetizer, I look for high protein apps like beef tartar, ahi tuna, ceviche, mussels, or wings.
To give you a clearer picture, Here’s what I order over and over:
- Eggs w/ goat cheese, bacon or chicken sausage, breakfast potatoes
- Bunless burger w avocado, sweet potatoes fries (eat half the fries, max)
- Chicken caesar salad (ask for dressing on side)
- Cobb or Chef salad (no cheese and dressing on side)*
- Taco salad w/ chicken or smoked pork – salsa for dressing
- Steak, baked potato, veggies
- Al pastor tacos on corn tortillas w/ a few chips and guac
- Shrimp or beef curry w veggies over rice (eat half the rice)
- Piece of fish with roasted potatoes and veggies (eat half the potatoes – these will be roasted in fat + I usually order fatty fish like salmon)
- Chicken sausage, mashed potatoes, and Brussels (literally ordered this somewhere a couple nights ago – SO GOOD.)
*I dont always skip the cheese – but I hate blue cheese that comes on Cobb salads and if the chef salad is already loaded with avocado, bacon, eggs, and ranch dressing (which I don’t always get but…….sometimes a girl needs her ranch), I’ll just say no to the cheese because I’d rather have the other fatty salad additions!
Occasionally, I’ll order an appetizer for an entree. The other night I ordered Ahi Tuna Nachos at Yard House and OMG. Big chunks of fresh tuna over won ton chips and spicy mayo. Perfection. Or, I might do mussels with a side salad.
So yeah. Here’s the thing. If going out to eat means ordering chicken breast and broccoli, you’re gonna feel deprived and you’re gonna end up stuffing your face elsewhere. Willpower is bullshit (seriously – check my post out on this) when you are actually depriving yourself.
Who’s with me on this?
I mean, if we ate perfectly all the time, how BORING would our lives be? While I used to do the feast or famine thing, I now just eat “generally pretty healthy” most of the time. And you what’s weird? I weigh less and look better than I ever did when I used to be on that diet cycle life.
Consistency is everything, guys.
Oh, and one more thing – if I’m having a drink, I’ll typically cut back a little on my carbs and fat for the meal. I’ll probably skip the starchy carbs and I’ll do just avocado on my burger instead of avocado and cheese. See? Little tweaks here and there. That’s all it takes.