How To: Eat Out & Stay On-Plan

"Sorry for being such a pain, but this is going to be a complicated order ..."

Due to our busy schedule with baseball, school, work, and life in general, we find ourselves dining out quite a bit. Nowadays, we have so many choices to choose from, but being on the run means that speed and convenience take precedence 80% of the time. With that being said, staying on-plan can be done ... although it's not always the "easiest" choice.

The hardest thing about dining out is the pictures. Yep, the menus with the perfectly staged pictures. Think about it: of course restaurant owners are going to highlight their most "delectable" foods. Whether it be the filet mignon at Ruth Chris, fries at McDonald's, or ooey-gooey crab dip at the Greene Turtle, these pictures are strategic and mouthwateringly tempting. Yes, we know they're all staged and mostly fake, but add in the fact that you're hungry and in a hurry? You want what you see, and you want it now!

Temptation aside, I have yet to experience a restaurant that has not had some type of salad, vegetable, grilled chicken, steak or fish available on the menu. These are my go-tos and usually make ordering easy. When I order these items, I make sure to get any sauces on the side and my protein cooked plain. Dressing? On the side. Steamed veggies? Plain. Be mindful that when ordering, if you are not specific enough, your food will come out the way it's normally prepared: with extra sauces, toppings, and salt. Take control of your meal and be as detailed as you can.

Recent meal out with the family to watch the O's play. A BBQ-beer chicken with a side of broccolini, because I wanted what was "in the picture."
Recent meal out with the family to watch the O's play. A BBQ-beer chicken with a side of broccolini, because I wanted what was "in the picture."

IF ... for some reason these are not available, I order a good ol' cheeseburger, sans the bun, and with a side of vegetables instead of fries. Again, be as specific with your ordering as you can! Salad? Undressed. Steamed vegetables? Plain. You can add the butter and dressings on yourself.

Now, I know what you're thinking ... "I eat like that all the time at home!" Yes, I do too, however, we need to make the decision as to just when it's a special occasion versus when you're simply doing the best you can with the resources you have. Not every time you eat out--planned or unplanned--is an excuse to eat whatever you want.

Trying to spice it up? Get a big tex-mex salad. Add dairy-free buffalo sauce to your chicken. Order that delicious entree in the picture, just 86 the cream sauce and fries.

The purpose of this post is to show you that you can eat out and stay on-plan, whether your dinner/lunch/brunch is planned or not. We are here to help you change your lifestyle to make it work for you and help you make the best decision in every situation. We totally get it ... You work hard! You should be able to enjoy yourself every now and then! Just remember that you can still experience the leisure and convenience of dining out, while wielding the power to make your own meal and stay on-plan.

People might say you are being high-maintenance, I say we are dedicated to the goals we have set and the lifestyle we want to live.