Thursday, January 20, 2011

Restaurant Rules: Four Tips to Stay on Track When Eating Out

I’m a guest panelist at the Georgia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America’s monthly luncheon today. The topic – bloggers and PR, of course. The luncheon just happens to be at one of my FAVORITE restaurants – Maggiano’s. Have I ever mentioned I could eat Italian food everyday? Really.

While I’m looking forward to the luncheon, I’m not looking forward to the temptation. The food, at least what I WANT to eat, does not go with Project Me. I’ve decided I have to take a realistic and non-obsessive approach to eating out while I’m on my mission to a better me, and will try and follow these four rules:

Eat BEFORE I go out. Kind of defeats the purpose you say … not really. If I’m full with healthy food I’m less likely to fill up on the other “stuff.” Ahem.

Allow myself ONE splurge. I don’t eat out much so when I do I let myself enjoy the forbidden bread I don’t eat at home or a chocolate dessert I wouldn’t even dream of whipping up myself. A little treat helps ward of that dreaded deprived feeling.

DON’T clean my plate. Yes, I grew up ol’ school and had to sit at the kitchen table until I ate everything off of my plate. No more. The servings given at most restaurants are super-sized and I will have to display some serious portion control to stay on track.

Look at the menu AHEAD of time. Most restaurants have their menus online now. I like to search for a healthy option before I’m sitting at the table and risk making a rushed decision my waistline will regret later.

And, of course, the old “drink water” trick helps, too. Anyone else have any dining out tips they’d like to add to the rules? My stomach and I would love to know …

Winks & Smiles,

11 comments:

K. Rock said...

Great tips. I always look at the menu online before I go to a restaurant too. Some also have nutritional info to help with your decision.
And to piggy back off of your third hint, ask the waiter to bring a to go box when they bring your entree. That way, you can take half (or however much) food OFF your plate so if you are a plate cleaner (like me), you won't have done as bad.

keyalus said...

Order double veggies (provided they aren't soaked in butter or cheese or fried which is tough at Maggiano's!) and fill up on those first.

Order a broth based soup and fill up on that (too much sodium though sigh).

Dressing on the side for any salad.

You can find some bootleg calorie count information for Maggiano's online. Once I saw those numbers, I was scared straight!

CurlyKye said...

Ohhhhhh Maggiano's!

I used to work for an athletic conference when I lived back home in Chicago and used to love when the coaches would come in town for a meeting....coaches' dinners used to always be at Maggiano's and I'd get to take home tons of leftovers! (My mouth watering)

I'd definitely say enjoy but don't gorge! I'm also trying to learn how not to keep crossing that fine line.

carrie said...

When eating out, I try to order the fresh fish paired with a seasonal veg. I do splurge on one glass of wine, but no dessert.

Kerrie T. said...

Great tips! I also have been trying to drink two full glasses of water before eating - helps fill me up. Maybe I should drink two full glasses of water before ordering...

Alison B., "Runbuggy" said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alison B., "Runbuggy" said...

As a dietitian I must say these are great tips that I'd give a client. Never go out to dinner or to a party on an empty stomach! You have the right idea to eat something ahead of time. I wrote a post today on my other blog - not RunBuggy but my nutrition blog, The Healthy Spoonful (http://www.thehealthyspoonful.com) - about the dangers of all-you-can-eat smorgasbords and bottmless bucket freebies that many restaurants are offering. Sounds like you are on the right track!! By the way, thanks for your supportive words on my RunBuggy post the other day!

Laurie said...

Here's to Maggianos being a favorite. We had my oldest son's Bar Mitzvah there...YUM!
These are great tips, I try to follow several of them.

13point1miles said...

GREAT advice! Hubs and I don't eat out very often but when we do, I eat WAYYYYY too much. Ugh!

Amy said...

I could do so much better when I go to restaurants. My biggest downfall is the chips and salsa bowl... I could make a meal of chips and salsa. *sigh* Note to self... just stay out of Mexican restaurants and it will be OK!

Funkidivagirl said...

We eat out on the weekends and most of the time I try to order fish. But if I eat healthy during the week then I give myself more leeway on the weekends.

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