3 tips for eating out while losing weight
A lunch meeting here. A birthday dinner there. When our calendars are peppered with restaurant outings, it can feel challenging to stick with our weight loss goals. But you can eat out and lose weight with Slimming World’s healthy eating plan, called Food Optimizing, says Yvonne Sanders, head of operations at Slimming World U.S. “It just requires a bit of planning ahead,” she adds.
1) Check out the menu. Most restaurants post their menus online, so take a look in advance and decide what you’d like to order. “It’s important to read the descriptions of the food, too, as preparation makes a difference,” Sanders says. Words like battered, fried, and cream sauce are all red flags; steer towards grilled or broiled options, tomato sauces, and broth-based soups. Focus on dishes filled with Free Food, food you can eat without counting, weighing or measuring on the Slimming World plan. This includes lean meat (all visible skin and fat removed), veggies, pasta, rice, and potatoes.
2) Get your order in first. Since you’ve already looked at the menu, don’t wait for your dining companions to order, which can make you rethink your choice. Pave the way and place yours first! If you’re feeling uncertain, Sanders suggests practicing your order—yes, saying it out loud, alone, in the comfort of your own home or car—first. It might feel strange, but Sanders says, “The more you become comfortable saying it, the easier it will be.”
Always feel free to ask for substitutions or alternatives. Sanders says, “Remember, you’re paying good money for this food, so you should be able to ask for it to your specifications.” And just because you don’t see something on the menu doesn’t mean the chef can’t serve it: Asking for plain grilled chicken, without sauce, and a side of steamed vegetables and a baked potato is easily done in most restaurants.
3) Ask fellow slimmers for advice in your online meeting. As a member of Slimming World, join your weekly online group beforehand to help you form the plan that works for you. You’ll get peer support, facilitated by a trained Consultant, from people who’ve been there—and chances are you’ll inspire someone else with the same situation.