Your 10 Step Plan To Enjoy Restaurants While BiOptimizing Your Body
While on your quest to bettering your body, one of the biggest struggles most people will face is learning how to eat properly while dining out. Sure, you could sit at home each evening and carefully prepare, measure, and weigh all your foods so you never miss a beat on your diet plan. And, if you are training for a fitness or bodybuilding competition, that’s likely what you will be doing. You need to take your diet absolutely seriously at this point. But, what about the rest of the time? What about the average individual who simply wants to look great naked and feel even better? What if health is your focus? In this case, sitting at home every night and missing out on socializing experiences is likely not the best route to go. You want to strive for balance in your life and part of that is eating with others. But in comes the question, how can you possibly eat right at a restaurant? If you’ve ever taken a look at the nutritional stats of some of your favorite dishes in popular restaurants, you’ll come to see that many come loaded with 700+ calories – some as high as nearly 2000 calories per meal. Clearly this is not going to fit in with a healthy eating plan no matter what diet you happen to be on. How can you survive this? Let’s go over your 10-step plan for surviving a restaurant meal with your diet intact. Before you go forward however, check out the video below to learn the one biggest secret you must do while eating your meal to prevent fat gain. Let’s get to your 10 steps.
Step 1: Review Menu OnlineLet’s begin at the beginning. Before you even enter the restaurant, it’s time to do your homework. This means reviewing the menu online and seeing if there is in fact anything you can eat beforehand. Most restaurants now will post their full menu online and if you get really lucky, they may even post nutritional stats. Keep in mind, these are not set in stone. Of course you can –and likely should – make modifications when you go (we’ll get to that shortly!) but right now, just consider viable options. With a little changing, is there something that will fit your diet? It doesn’t matter if you’re doing a low carb diet, a low fat diet, a high calorie diet, or what have you – find out if there is a meal on that menu that will work with your plan. If there isn’t, suggest another restaurant. If you are going with people you know, chances are good you can have a say in this factor.
Step 2: Eat Right Before You GoNext, you need to plan how you eat before you go. DO NOT do what most people do and try and ‘bank’ calories. You may think that saving calories for later is the fastest route to keeping yourself lean. You figure if you don’t eat all day long, you can indulge without guilt. You have that wiggle room. But realize, indulging in a restaurant will often cost you more calories than you get to eat in an entire day. If you go in for appetizers, a main course meal, as well as a dessert, you can easily set yourself back 1500 or more calories. Chances are no, no matter how much you ‘save’ calories from skimming your earlier meals, you won’t build up this much of a bank. Plus, if you skip meals before you hit the restaurant, it will only backfire on you as you’ll be so incredibly hungry by the time you do eat. Soon you’ll be eating without control and that will only mean far more calories are consumed. Make sure to eat a light snack consisting of a lean protein along with plenty of fiber about 1-2 hours prior to the meal. A grilled chicken with some salad, a hard boiled eggs with some raw vegetables, or your own home-made vegetarian smoothie will all work perfectly here. You don’t want to eat a large meal before you go of course, but around 200 calories should help you better control your appetite and ensure that you make smart food decisions.
Step 3: Hydrate, Hydrate, HydrateThe third step is to hydrate your body properly. Too many people mistake thirst for hunger. If you’re going into the meal thirsty, there’s a good chance that the food you eat will taste even better (because you are thirsty) and this can also get you on an uncontrollable food consumption roller coaster. In the two hours leading up to the meal, aim to drink at least four glasses of water. This may seem like a lot, but it will ensure you don’t arrive dehydrated. Remember that most people are currently walking around in a dehydrated state as it is. Having this extra water consumption will help you counteract that. For bonus points, opt for your ionized water. This will help provide extra antioxidants and will also help get your pH balance where it needs to be.
Step 4: Just Say No To AppetizersSo you open the menu and begin feasting your eyes on appetizers. Just stop. Unless you are ordering a shrimp cocktail, there are likely no appetizers for you. Almost all appetizers will be deep fried in some way, come loaded with sauces, or are breaded, so consider these off limits. Plus, if you order an appetizer and a main course meal, you’re only going to increase your overall calorie consumption even further. The only exception to this rule is if you do find that your restaurant does have a healthy appetizer option (it’s a rare bread!) and you choose to make that your main course meal. In that case, go for it. But order it to come out when everyone else is getting their main course meal so you aren’t ending up sitting there with no food to eat.
Step 5: Know Where To LookNow it’s time to navigate the waters and try and figure out what you should and shouldn’t order. The first and typically best place to look is at the salads. Salads are great for a number of reasons.
- They aren’t cooked so the option of sneaking in added butter/oil/sugar is lower.
- You can add a lean protein to just about any salad.
- They’re easily modifiable.
- They contain plenty of nutrients.
- Always choose grilled protein over baked, fried, or coated
- Opt for steamed vegetables over French fries or other starches (and request no butter be used)
- Request that any sauces for your dishes be served on the side
- Stay away from any cream based sauces and choose tomato based sauces instead
- If ordering a sandwich, ask for it ‘open face’ (with only one slice of bread) or skip the bread altogether
- If ordering rice, request brown rice
- If you need more carbs, get a baked potato over mashed or French fries
- Consider a broth based vegetable soup over a cream based one
- Go vegetarian and get a dish prepared with beans or tofu rather than meat
- Always request less or no sour cream/cheese/or other add-ons with your meal