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Eating Out?

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I’ll admit it, I eat a pretty boring diet.  My diet is streamlined so that’s it’s quick to make, healthy to eat and fast to clean up.  Like everyone else on this planet my time is limited.  Whether its working on my site, answering your questions, working, coaching my daughters softball team, time is just SHORT.  Sure, it’s easy to stick to the nutrition plan as long as you cook every meal and have nothing but time on your hands, right?  But some of us actually have LIVES and can’t spend 4 hours per day cooking, and we are on the run a lot and don’t have a choice.  Right?  We have to eat out, and when we do anything goes.  But hey, I can’t help it, that’s just the way it is.  What am I supposed to do, its beyond my control, right?

Not so fast!  I am not going to let everyone off that easy!! I am on the go as well.  I leave my house early in the morning and don’t get home until dinner.  And I have my diet dialed in 100%.  So I don’t want to hear the excuse that just because you aren’t at home to cook, that you are a victim.  You choose what you eat.  You have to own that!  For me, 90% of the time, I take everything with me when I leave the house so that I’ll have my morning snack, my lunch, and my afternoon snacks — all pre-planned and ready to go.  That’s a sure fire way to stay on track.

But guess what, I do eat out some!  Yes it’s possible to eat out and not just throw the MyFitnessPal out the window for fear of what it will tell you was in that meal you just wolfed down!!!

I eat out with my family occasionally, and of course I have date night with my wife.   So what do I do?  I plan ahead, do my research, and make sure that even though I eat lunch out, I will exactly hit my caloires, protein, carbs, and fat for the day!

HOW DO I DO IT? = I’ve put in some effort and researched the restaurants I frequent to find the healthiest options so I’m not forced into a corner when I get there.  Most restaurants post their nutritional info on line, and you can look ahead of time at the menu choices to find something that will fit in your daily plan.  Will it be chips and queso?  NO!  But you can still eat out and enjoy yourself without feeling guilty afterwards!  The MyFitnessPal app has most restaurants you can think of in it’s database as well, so that’s a great resource if you are out and about and don’t have time to look online at a restaurant’s nutritional info.  It can help you narrow down some menu options into what best fits your diet.

HAVE SOME RULES = Often, you can do well with grilled chicken salads (assuming you skip the dressing, cheese, and croutons).  Soups can be good or bad depending on the ingredients and the base it’s cooked in (vegetable bases are good but creamy bases often have lots of fat and calories).  Sandwiches on wheat bread can be a great choice as well, but be careful about the toppings and condiments.  Mustard is a good choice, but mayo, BBQ, oil and vinegar, etc. will really add calories.  Also, the bread can be deceiving so go for wheat whole grain bread as opposed to white bread.  At nice, sit down restaurants, you are usually safe with steamed veggies of all kinds.  Sauteed veggies will be packed with fat though so avoid them!  Chicken, fish and steaks are good too, as long as you look at how they are prepared.  Grilled is great.  Be careful with other methods as they may use oils and butters to prepare them.  You can get a lot of fat and sugar that is hidden in the way a food is prepared.

My two favorite local restaurants are Moe’s (think Chipotle) and Jason’s Deli.  Moe’s is a Southwest, burrito and taco style restaurant.  One of the things that I like to order is a bowl instead of a wrap.  By doing so I’ve saved tons of carbs, fat and calories.  My bowl includes brown rice, black beans and usually tofu or chicken and my drink of choice is . . . water.  Not only is it free but it also saves you a lot of calories.  Jason’s De


li is the perfect place for someone like me who likes the salad bar and vegetable soup while my wife and kids can also get foods that they like.

Eating at home is always safer, but if you are willing to plan ahead and resist the temptations while at the restaurant, you can survive eating out without the guilt and without the extra pounds that often plague those who eat out!


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