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How to Eat Well When Going Out

How to Eat Well When Going Out

Picking healthier options from the restaurant menu to maintain your diet has never been easier.

If it’s happened once, it’s probably happened a million times. You’re torn between going out for a meal with friends and potentially eating bad bar food, or sticking to that nutrition plan you’ve been diligently following. Thankfully, there’s actually no need to put your social life on hold for your “diet.” With the rules laid out below, you can eat at your favorite restaurant without feeling guilty or adjusting your belt.

First, it’s important to have an idea of what your macronutrient breakdown should be before each meal. That means you should consider the number of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats you’re looking to consume. Those numbers should tie directly to your goals, for those looking to lose weight, or simply get more cut, will opt for lower carb, and higher fat options. Similarly, those looking to put on a few more pounds will aim to go harder at the carbs, and easier on the fats. Notice how protein isn’t mentioned, as 20-30 grams of it should always be a part of the equation, regardless of the goal.

To better understand how macronutrients tie out to your goals, here a couple of examples. If you need 20 grams of protein, 4 grams of fat, and 50 grams of carbohydrates for lunch, you’ll be searching for carbohydrates. Thus, when looking at a menu, look at the sandwiches or pastas… then look for a LEAN protein because you only need 4 grams of fats. A grilled chicken sandwich with lettuce and tomato (no condiments, no cheese) would be a perfect choice.

If you’re out for dinner and your diet calls for 30 grams of protein, 15 grams of fat, and 10 grams of carbohydrates, look for a low carbohydrate meal with more fat. Something like grilled salmon or a salad with grilled tuna steak and avocado would both be great choices.

As a rule when out, always ask for NO OIL and NO BUTTER. It’s a quiet killer, and this one request could actually make, or break, your meal. Follow that tip and the others that follow below, and you’ll keep both your nutrition and social life in check, while not sacrificing all the progress you’ve made in the weight room or on the field.

Quick Tips:

  1. Ask for NO butter, and NO oil
  2. Stick with the following dressings which are much lower in calories and fat: vinegar, salt, pepper, and/or mustard - every restaurant has these items (no excuses)
  3. Always think: grilled, broiled, steamed, seared, roasting, or braising. Whatever you do stay away from FRIED!
  4. If you have a question, ask. You don’t want unlisted ingredients (see #1) to kill the nutrition value of your meal
  5. Drink at least one full glass of water before eating anything
  6. If you don’t see something on the menu, feel free to make up your own meal. Almost every restaurant has grilled chicken and vegetables.
  7. If you go to the same restaurant a lot, or know where you are going ahead of time, plan what you’re going to get ahead of time.

And those are the seven rules that, when followed, could be the difference between a great pregame or post workout meal, and one that’ll ruin your healthy diet.

13 / 10 / 2017 1R