Everyone loves to eat out, and having a salad every time is NO FUN! Don’t get me wrong, I love salads but I’m human and I also like some of the naughty stuff like burgers, fajitas and oh the best ever… chips and salsa. You CAN have all this, you just need to be smart about it and here’s how to do it.
At the bottom of this article is 10 different meals at 10 different kinds of restaurants w/ average calories, a good guide for you to start with.
1. Plan out your meal, go on the restaurant’s website and get the nutritional info. Decide how many calories you want to “spend” and look for something in that range. Don’t just look at the salads, many sandwiches and steaks are low enough for you to enjoy too.
2. If you want something that has too many calories, say it has 900 calories and you can only have 450 decide if you can split it in half, and if that will be satisfying enough for you. If you are going out with friends or a significant other consider splitting something this way you are forced to only eat your ½. You can also have them box up the other half “to go” before it even gets to your table.
3. Drink smart, before you plan out your meal and order, plan out your drink order too. Want a cocktail? Yeah! Go for it, but know how many calories are in a drink. Anything with a “mixer” is probably not going to be within your allotted calories, instead choose a glass of wine (120 calories), a beer (145 calories) or a dry martini (135 calories). Those “Skinny” drinks are full of chemicals, I know that they say they are “lower in calories” but if you replace the sugar with chemicals do you really think that is something you should put in your body? At least your body knows how to process sugar! Furthermore, if you are not supposed to drink diet sodas when you are pregnant why on earth would you put them into your body whether you are or not?
4. Fill up on water, when you sit down for your meal out immediately ask for a glass of water and chug it! Then ask for another and chug that too, you won’t be as hungry and will not eat as much.
5. Look for smart swaps, often you can get a big burger but just swap out the meat for a veggie or turkey pattie. Choose wheat bread on burgers and sandwiches, ask for no mayo and no cheese or at least on the side so you can control how much you put on. Skip the fries and ask for a salad or cole slaw.
6. Be careful on the free-bees, bread and butter are a great example. Ask them NOT TO BRING IT! If you must have it, split ONE roll in half and enjoy the heck outa ½, but don’t go back for the other half and go easy on the butter, perhaps ask for honey instead or Extra Virgin Olive oil, at least it has health benefits.
7. Want the chips and salsa that come free at your favorite Mexican restaurant? Ask for a small plate, place 5 or 10 chips on your plate and dig into that salsa. 10 chips are about 130 calories the salsa is between 5-15 calories.
8. Stay away from the sodas, ask for ice tea skip the colorful packets and just use the real sugar. The packets are chemicals and have never been tested by the FDA…. I’m not kidding, they did their own research and had their lobbyists bring it to the FDA, ever hear the saying “money talks”? One tsp of sugar is only 16 calories, you can burn that off stirring it into your tea!
9. Go out dancing after dinner and burn it all off, heck if you have to pay for a babysitter you better enjoy all you can…. right!?!
10. Splurge from time to time, if you always say “no, I can’t have that” one day it will all backfire, so once in a while just splurge. Enjoy it and tomorrow get right back on the healthy lifestyle train, none of that “on Monday I will start again” tomorrow is a new day, no need to wait until Monday. Hit your reset button and move on.
Here are my favorite going out meals:
Burger place 520 calories- ½ Turkey Burger, no cheese on wheat with cole slaw and iced tea.
Mexican Restaurant 518 calories- 5 chips with unlimited salsa, chicken fajitas split with hubby. 1 tortilla packed super full especially with the yummy veggies. Skip the cheese and the sour cream, load up on salsa and guacamole and a beer.
Steak Restaurant 467 calories- 6 oz steak with steamed veggies and a dry martini or glass of red wine.
Sushi 360 calories- Tuna roll and a beer.
Italian 420 calories – 2 slices Margarita Pizza and a glass of red wine.
Greek 500 calories- Chicken kabob with ¼ cup rice and salad with tzatziki sauce and an iced tea.
BBQ 545 calories- Chicken breast with BBQ sauce, cole slaw and a beer.
Seafood 320 calories- 4 oz Grilled salmon with steamed veggies and an iced tea.
Sandwich shop 330 calories- Turkey on wheat with mustard and avocado, load up all the veggies they have. No mayo or cheese and an iced tea.
French 500 calories- Escargot and Champagne, sorry this is my favorite splurge and is all I really want when I walk into a French restaurant
If you have a smart phone Pin or post it to your Facebook wall so you can easily check back when you’re out to eat. These these tips will keep you skinny and full. Follow my blog for more tips and recipes straight from this skinny gal’s kitchen.