Although it is always better to prepare fresh, whole foods at home, sometimes almost everyone will eat out. Here are a few good ground rules to survive that decision with your health intact: 
1-Don’t supersize! This is a way that the industry pushes excess calories, salt and sugar to addict you to their food and increase your bill. Stick with smaller entrees and grilled rather than fried. Avoid creamy sauces and stick with plain condiments like mustard and small amounts of ketchup and add lettuce, tomatoes and other vegetables to “beef up” your meal.
2-Again, think grilled! At Wendy’s a grilled chicken sandwich has 7 grams of fat versus 20 grams for the crispy deep fried variety. If you really want fries, get them sometimes but also consider substituting a small side salad instead most of the time.
3-Hold the mayo at 100 calories /Tablespoon! The same goes for tarter sauce and sour cream and guacamole. The calorie counts are different but they are high. If eating out is an occasional splurge, these items aren’t as bad for you but if you eat out frequently, make them a rare addition to your meal.
4-Avoid all-you-can-eat restaurants. That is a no-brainer. Just don’t.
5-Just say “NO!” A 16 ounce soft drink adds 200 calories to your meal and a milkshake can easily add 770. We have to learn discipline to be healthy. If we put ourselves in this situation of having to make this decision, it better be a good one. Have water or another 0 calorie drink instead.
6-Balance dining out meals with home cooked meals so that the extra calories consumed dining out do not sabotage your health incentive efforts. If lunch turned into a train wreck then undo some of that damage by having a moderate dinner and getting some exercise.
7-Split your order-share with a friend. Restaurant portions can be ridiculous. If you actually order that chocolate cake as big as your head, then for heaven’s sake, split it into as many portions as possible. Often a taste of something that indulgent is all that is needed to satisfy your craving.
8-Bring your lunch. This is the ideal solution. This gives you ultimate control over your nutrition and calories and the possibilities are endless.
9- Choose grab-and-go foods. We can get great nutrition with simple items that we can literally just pick up and walk with, no preparation needed. I do this all the time. String cheese, fruit, prewashed vegetables, nuts and even boiled eggs are excellent choices. I also love to carry Greek, full-fat yogurt with Crystal Light packets. I sometimes carry powdered peanut butter and maybe a sweetener and the yogurt tastes like peanut butter pie!
10-Sometimes just go for the obvious low calorie items as posted on the menu. Subway sells subs with 6 grams of fat or less and in that context, that is a good thing because those are their low calorie options.
With a little forethought you can successfully eat out. I have written about my abusive relationship in the past and strangely enough, I was mistreated concerning the preparation of meals and now, sometimes, I just say “No!” and rebel against cooking. I know that is silly but it’s representative of my freedom from abuse and my newfound autonomy. I am 16# below my BMI allowed weight. I have a strong drive to attain six-pack abs and I must say, they are beginning to show up! Abs are always made in the kitchen. We can work out with great zeal and dedication but if our abdominal muscles are covered by a layer of fat, nobody will ever see them. I am lean in my midsection but not as lean as I want to be. I still rebel and eat out. My abs are showing up because I eat out with health in mind. Just use some common sense. All restaurants provide Nutritional Information now. Avail yourself of it and be responsible. It’s your choice. Make it a good one!
8 Comments Add yours
Great information Brenda, thank you.
Thank you, Joanna! And you’re welcome. ♥️
Ditto the great information. Years ago I used to swing by McDonald’s and grab a milkshake at night for the hour plus drive home from work. When I joined WW and found out the points, that came to an abrupt stop. That was 5 years ago, and haven’t had one since.
I did stop by a Wendy’s a bit ago and told them I wanted the grilled chicken breast and a small salad. I told them I was going to put the chicken on the salad. They cut it up for me and said it looked like a good salad.
If you stop and think, you can usually make wise choices.
That’s exactly what this article is about, Deb, making convenience work for us instead of against us. Good job! 👏👏👏
Awesome tip about Wendy’s. Thanks for such a great comment Deb.
Thank you Brenda.
You’re welcome David.