BEFORE THE RESTAURANT:
*Look at the menu online before you leave home and choose the items you want
*First priority is finding the vegetables and trying to fill half your plate with vegetables. Sometimes that means ordering a few ‘sides’ instead of an entree.
*Then look for quality lean protein (avoid anything breaded or covered in sugary sauce)
*Look or ask if a ‘gluten-free’ menu is available. You’ll usually get something more slow-carb.
*Drink 8oz of water before you leave home
*Eat something light before you go (apple + almonds). This’ll help you ward off the chip/bread bowl.
AT THE RESTAURANT:
*Always order sauce on the side
*Choose a protein with 2 vegetables and a healthy fat (avocado)
*Order your burger with no bun or on a salad
*Change it up – if meat over pasta, ask for the same but over salad instead.
*Make sure not to order anything fried
*Pay attention to your portion sizes. A steak and a side salad is not a good choice if the steak is twice the size of the salad.
*Ask for no added salt
*Add extra vegetables
*Ask for a double order of mixed vegetables instead of pasta or rice
*For breakfast, instead of potatoes, ask for sliced tomatoes or a side of fruit
ITEMS NOT ON THE MENU:
*You can ask for steamed vegetables as a side (add real butter or olive oil)
*You can order a grilled protein (chicken, salmon, etc.) with just salt and pepper
*Ask for a lettuce wrap instead of bread or a bun
If you aren’t in a situation where swaps are appropriate, just remember your portion sizes:
Protein is the size of your palm
Starchy carbs are the size of your fist
Healthy fat the size of your thumb
The rest of the plate should be vegetables.
Anything that is not that – leave it on the plate.
Faced with a fast-food restaurant? Looking for advice on what to order?
Check out Oonagh’s Nutrition 911 blog post!