Eating Out

This not only saves calories, but it is also much less costly. I carry five-calorie flavor packets/sticks in my purse if I want a little flavor added to my water. My favorites contain zero sodium and include Vitamin C 200% DV. If I’m in the mood for something hot, I’ll order coffee or hot tea. In fact, ever since my mom had her heart attack this past January, I’ve noticed that she orders tea every time we dine out. Her doctor recommended this, especially since she was previously drinking large amounts of diet soda, which is loaded with sodium. She is doing absolutely great, by the way!

Appetizers are rarely ordered when we are dining out. It’s difficult to find any that aren’t loaded with calories, but if we do find ourselves ordering one on a rare occasion, we share an appetizer that includes salsa-never ordering our own individual appetizer. The same goes for desserts. In fact, since it was my daughter’s birthday, she was offered a free dessert for her birthday. She ordered the smallest dessert and shared with everyone. It’s enough to satisfy the pallet and again, no guilt!

Another habit is ordering grilled chicken on a bun instead of hamburger. We then request no mayonnaise, and order the sandwich with mustard, lettuce, pickles, onions, or tomatoes. This is much healthier than a greasy burger with cheese that has been covered with mayonnaise, and honestly, it tastes better to me too! And if the sandwich comes with potato chips or fries, request a vegetable (no butter) instead. This will save hundreds of calories and you won’t walk away feeling guilty.

My favorite entrée is a nice, crispy salad loaded with all types of vegetables, along with chicken or tuna to top it off. I have to admit I was a little hesitant at first when it came to ordering a salad topped with tuna, but it is now one of my favorites! Also, request that the dressing is served on the side and use it sparingly. There was a time when I would order a simple dinner salad because I was afraid to try a new salad that I have never heard of before, but now that I’ve become a little more “daring” I realize that I’ve been missing out on some awesome meals these past few years! Now I have a list of my favorites and am looking forward to adding more.

Please make sure to enjoy yourself while dining out as you continue living your new healthy lifestyle! DIETS may not allow you to go out to dinner, but your new style of life does. Simply make healthy choices and keep control of your portion sizes. In fact, ask for a take-home container BEFORE your meal begins, and place half of your entrée in the box to save for tomorrow or share with a family member who wasn’t able to join you at the restaurant. Either way, it will be a great treat for someone to enjoy!

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  1. Jon Stanton 8 years ago

    Hi Jodi! This is one area where I struggle still sometimes. I was a huge (no pun intended) restaurant eater for years! I had to set up some guidelines for myself which include:

    1. No buffets (especially Chinese buffets) – I have never yet found a buffet where I don’t overeat. My family still frequents these often, and on occasion, I don’t have any choice. I work extra hard but I still usually overeat – it’s so simple to do when your choices are limitless!

    2. One meal out per week, unless I’m travelling – This has made a huge difference both in my calorie/fat intake and my pocketbook!

    3. Avoid most “fast food” – I do this more because of all the fat, garbage, and preservatives necessary to make “fast food” fast. I will still go to a fast food restaurant on occasion, but I try to focus on “healthier” places with more options, like Arby’s or Subway, instead of burger joints like McDonalds.

    4. Find a soup and salad bar – My favorite here in Michigan is Big Boy. Most of them have soup and salad bars. They have a cabbage soup which is fairly decent that is only 60 calories per serving. Some of their other soups are pretty healthy too if you don’t like cabbage. Like you say, it’s important to watch the dressing on the salad, but other than that, you have lots of fresh choices to choose from.

    Thanks for the suggestion about taking half home at the beginning, Jodi. I have struggled with this when going out for pizza or another restaurant with friends. I usually eat up the whole thing and feel overly full afterwards. This is one area where I need to increase my resolve!

  2. Jodi Davis 8 years ago

    Jon – I agree with you on the buffets!! They are so difficult to not overeat at these, especially Chinese (my favorite also!) I know what you mean about the savings in the pocketbook – but you have something more enjoyable to use your $$’s on… smaller clothing!! They “taste” much better than any food and have a way of increasing the self-esteem level too ~ it’s great isn’t it? And you “are welcome” for the suggestion about taking half of the meal home first… it also helps the pocketbook knowing you don’t have to purchase lunch the following day! I enjoy hearing about your successes, Jon, and I’m looking foward to our next walk in Lansing someday in the future. I hope I can keep up with you next time – when you walk briskly, you aren’t fooling around! WOW! You are doing an awesome job! Jodi