Monday, November 19, 2012

Yes, you can eat at restaurants and lose weight.

I think I love eating at restaurants more than anyone I know. And, NO, we don't eat out because I dislike cooking or cleaning up. Believe it or not, eating at a restaurant with four kids can, in fact, be relaxing. Yes, I just said that. I know it's not the healthiest option and sometimes not the most economical, but there's something eating/socializing/and swooning over all the menu choices that makes it appealing.

When I picked up on clean eating, I was a little concerned that it would cut into my love of restauranting. Most of the clean eating plans contain very little info on eating out and suggest things like - dry salad (disgusting...I'd rather drink castor oil). Okay, that's not true. I wouldn't drink castor oil, but you won't catch me ordering a dry salad either. I want to give you a little list of somethings I pick up at restaurants that may not be 100% clean, but they are usually 95% (only b/c I don't know the ingredients used in preparation).

  • Salad with lots of veggies, cheese, and dressing on the side (use at your discretion). Choose a light variety or vinaigrette. Dressing usually isn't 100% clean so beware. 
  • At a BBQ joint - pulled chicken/pork (no bbq sauce) with veggies on the side. I had jalapeneos on my pulled chicken this evening. It was delicious.
  • Chipotle (or similar) - I get a burrito bowl with the following: brown rice, chicken, fajita, veggies, mild salsa, a little sour cream and cheese. I eat this at least once a week and have continued to lose weight by doing so. 
  • Usually chicken breast (plain) is safe with veggies or a sweet potato on the side. Sorry, you can't have a loaded sweet potato. You can, however, ask for honey to sweeten it a little. AND, PS. If they offer you "cinnamon" it's usually cinnamon and sugar. Don't do it.
  • You can also try a bunless burger topped with veggies and cheese. A turkey burger is best if you can find that.
  • At a Chinese restaurant, ask for chicken or shrimp and veggies with no sauce. I'm going to warn you, it's pretty boring. SO, I use a little soy sauce to liven it up. I know soy sauce isn't clean either, but...come on. Do you know anyone who's eaten enough soy sauce to gain weight or have some other health problem? Neither do I. A little bit won't hurt. 
  • How about scrambled eggs and a side of fruit from a breakfast menu? 
  • You can also make a meal out of side dishes. How about an order of green beans, a fruit cup and a sweet potato? Once you're eating 6x a day, you really won't desire much more than that.
  • There really isn't much to choose from at a fast food restaurant. Your best choice may be to get grilled chicken (remove the bun from a sandwich and no mayo) or a salad with the healthiest dressing. 
I'll tell you that I've eaten at restaurants multiple times a week since starting clean eating, and I don't believe it's inhibited my weight loss in any way. When you're not sure, just use this rule of thumb: choose something that is part of a plant, not made in a plant. Also, pick water or unsweetened tea instead of soda or alcohol. 

Hope that helps! :) 

1 comment:

  1. You can substitute soy sauce with coconut aminos. I was able to find them at a health food store :)


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