SlimFast Plan Consultant and Registered Dietitian, Maryann Walsh shares her advice about ordering out while following the SlimFast Plan.
In these recent times, many of us have found ourselves cooking and experimenting more in the kitchen. But let’s face it, every once in a while it’s nice to take a break from cooking and (especially) the cleaning up part! While dining in at some of your favorite restaurants may be off the table for a while, ordering take-out or delivery can be a fun and tasty way to mix things up at mealtimes. Here are some tips for ordering delicious meals while still staying on track with your weight loss or weight maintenance goals!
- Take time to look over the menu and at the choices you have! Many restaurants now have the nutrition information listed with their menu items. This is especially common in chain restaurants. Knowing the facts about your food can help you decide on something that is both delicious and fits into your calorie goals for the day!
- Ordering with a group that prefers more indulgent items? Remember that many restaurants serve items like salads, soups, non-breaded chicken wings (for those of you on Keto!) and many other low-calorie possibilities. And, moderation is always key! Try having 1 slice of pizza and pairing it with a salad, or try a bunless burger or lettuce wrap instead of a bun! Many pizza restaurants even offer cauliflower pizza crust now!
- Choosing meats, poultry or seafood that have been roasted, grilled or broiled can cut down significantly on carbs and calories from breading and from deep frying.
- While dressings are usually served on the side when you order a salad to-go, make sure to confirm with the restaurant. Along with preventing the oh-so undesirable soggy lettuce, it also allows you to have more control over how much dressing you add to your salad. If fat-free or low-fat dressings aren’t your thing, enjoy the “real deal”, full-fat version, but enjoy it in smaller amounts. Remember that many salad greens and veggies that top salads contain vitamins A, D, E and K, which require fat to be absorbed efficiently by the body. So don’t be too afraid of fat!
- “Would you like fries with that?” is a question most of us love to say yes to! However, asking for a side of vegetables or a side salad may be a better choice if you are trying to stay diligent about your weight loss or weight maintenance regimen. Making this swap can cut out hundreds of calories.
- Restaurant portion sizes are usually going to be significantly larger than a portion you may prepare for yourself at home. When your food arrives, simply serve yourself a sensible portion on a separate plate and then put the rest away to enjoy as leftovers. Or split an entree with a family member!
- It’s all about balance! The SlimFast Plan encourages developing sustainable, life-long, healthy eating habits. If certain foods are non-negotiable favorites of yours (such as the fries mentioned above!), occasionally enjoying them is no big deal at all. Just enjoy in moderation and balance out your meal. For example: Instead of a burger with fries, try a small lean steak. Cutting the carbs and calories of a burger bun and toppings leaves room to enjoy those fries without derailing your Plan. Maybe you absolutely love a dish of fettucine alfredo from time to time: many restaurants now offer zoodles. Cutting the fettucine in half and replacing with zoodles cuts carbs and calories and supplies a serving of veggies! You never know what’s possible if you don’t ask!
And remember: Don’t beat yourself up if you overdo it. Everyone can overindulge in their favorite foods from time to time. One meal isn’t going to ruin your weight loss or weight maintenance plan. Just get back on track at the next meal!
A consultant of the SlimFast Plan, Maryann is a Registered Dietitian with Bachelor of Science degrees in Biological Sciences and Dietetics and a Master of Food and Nutrition. She has extensive experience working with clients of all ages and from all walks of life, helping them to achieve their wellness and weight-loss goals. Learn more about Maryann.