8 Tips to Prepare for the Caloric Unknown
Sooner or later, it happens to everyone. You’ve been kicking ass with your daily calorie count and you’ve successfully weeded out most of the dietary demons in your life, when you get roped into dinner plans. It’s a tricky predicament, which has the potential to end in complete and utter decadent disaster, but with a little planning you can socialize and maintain your caloric-cool all at the same time. So, before you click “Will Not Attend” on that e-vite, check out these easy tricks that will set you up for a night of diet-friendly dining success!
- Do Your Homework. Ninety-eight percent of the time, you will know where you’re going beforehand. Make use of some data on your smart phone and pull up the restaurant’s menu via YELP or Google . This will give you a chance to scope out the healthiest options and plan your choices before you even step foot in the restaurant. You can even plug a few options into your food log to check out the calorie counts. Now that you’ve chosen a few options, be sure to stand your ground when your server presents the specials!
- Plan your day. Actually, plan your whole week. If you know your dinner will be calorie-laden, make sure the meals surrounding the soirée are ON POINT. Your breakfast and lunch should be super healthy and light. You can even cut your calories the day before and the day after to give room for a little indulgence.
- Navigating through the appetizers. If we are really honest with ourselves, appetizers typically just ruin our appetite for the main entree. First and foremost, avoid the complimentary basket of bread. Just because it comes with the meal, does not mean you need to eat it. If you must, go for a side salad, shrimp cocktail, or ceviche. Have something simple and not drenched in sauce or cheese.
- Preparation matters. A client once asked me for tips on cooking tilapia in a healthier way. I told him “to bake it”. He heard “with bacon”. Be conscious of the way your food is made. Look for entrees that are GRILLED, BAKED, POACHED, or STEAMED.
- Know what to avoid. I’m confident that we all secretly know what to avoid, but a little reminder never killed anyone. It’s best not to order an item if it contains the following words: fried, breaded, cream sauce, the plural form of cheese(s), bacon, bacon fat, Caesar, etc… This list goes on and on. There are delicious, calorie laden foods that we should just avoid.
- If you must order that… Split it in two and take half home. If you are just dying for some lobster mac and cheese, go ahead. The way to indulge and not kill your diet all rests in serving size. Have them wrap half of it up at the start. This way, you can cut down on your evening’s calories and will save money on lunch the next day.
- Everybody loves a little alcohol. Yes, you can imbibe without wrecking your diet. Is it easier on the waistline to skip the booze all together? Of course it is. If you can’t resist… choose wine, light beer, liquor on the rocks or mix it with seltzer water. Keep the servings to 1 or 2. If you want to splurge on food calories, skip the booze all together.
- Dessert. Go for coffee or tea. The bottom line is, unless you are celebrating something REALLY special, desserts are truly unnecessary.