The latest Weight Watchers meeting discussed tricks when you eat out. This was a great topic considering that the week before I ate out three times and ordered from the menu without really thinking too much. I made sure I was ordering chicken and somewhat healthy food but I still ate the bread when it came to the table among other things. Then I went to my WW meeting and I found out some interesting things during that meeting that will help me when I eat out, which is more than I would like to admit.
- Request a to-go box with your order. The serving sizes at restaurants is so large these days that you are being given two servings with most meals. So WW advised us to grab the to-go box right away, box up half the food given to you to save for a later meal. Further, you don’t know how many ounces the meat is that is being served to you. WW suggested asking the server how many ounces you are getting with your order and asking for less if you want.
- Request your food be cooked clean. What does this mean? Let me share!!! When protein is cooked at a restaurant, it is not cooked with Pam cooking spray–it is cooked with butter, oil or possibly both. Even steak gets cooked with butter–that is why it is tender and tastes so good. What WW suggests is to ask for you chicken or beef to be cooked clean, so that they are cooked with very little oil or butter. This will cut down on the amount of fat and calories you inadvertently eat because of how it’s prepared.
- Avoid ordering certain terms on menus. This also deals with how the food is cooked–avoid ordering food that is described as: au gratin, scalloped, breaded, crispy, dipped, sautéed, sizzling and tempura. Most of these foods are fried, breaded and chock full of extra calories. Instead order food described in the following terms: baked, broiled, grilled, steamed, poached or roasted. These descriptors indicate that the food was cooked in a much cleaner environment and do not carry the same caloric punch.
- Order water and avoid empty calories with your drinks. In not so many words, don’t drink pop!! I could go into why pop is horrendous for you, but let’s just say it’s really, really bad and you should drink water and even avoid diet cokes. I feel a whole other post here in connection to pop in general. All types, regardless of it being diet or not are terrible for you.
At the end of the meeting my WW leader encouraged all of us to eat out this week and try the tips mentioned above. I don’t have to worry about the fourth rule as I only drink water with my meals. My personal experience with the rest was interesting. My husband, as supportive as he is, had a hard time with me being specific with my order, asking the server questions and getting the to-go box right away. I think he was embarrassed.
On the Saturday we went to a Mexican restaurant and I wanted a quesadilla. I love them! Only the restaurant we went to had fillings that didn’t appeal to me or were too high in calories (sour cream, cheese and avocado). So I asked the server if I could build my own quesadilla–fill it with what I wanted and he said I could. So instead I got it with onions, green peppers, chicken and half the cheese. I then asked for the chicken and quesadilla to be cooked with as little oil as possible. My order took about three minutes to do, which is exceptionally longer than normal. And sure, I was being high-maintenance, but I honestly didn’t care. I wanted to make sure what was going into my body was clean and good for me. Robert though was embarrassed, but handled it well.
Then on the Sunday we went out for lunch to celebrate my birthday, his grandmother’s birthday and his mom’s birthday. When I placed my order, a roasted turkey sandwich, I asked the server how many ounces the sandwich came with–which was five. I asked that the sandwich come to me with four ounces of turkey instead, which wasn’t an issue. And this time the order taking wasn’t very long, so in my estimation it wasn’t embarrassing. Unfortunately Robert was still embarrassed and made faces at his mom like “how high maintenance is she??” and I caught the look. On the car ride home I explained to him why I was being so specific with my ordering and he said “I can eat the one ounce of meat so you don’t have to ask.” to which I said “If I don’t ask I will not know how many ounces are on the sandwich, I can’t know how much to remove. Further, I don’t bring a scale with me, so it’s easier and better to simply ask them to make me the food the way I want it.” I then asked him to be supportive, to stop rolling his eyes as I ordered because this is important to me. He agreed that he would. We have yet to eat out since then, but I look forward to seeing what happens tomorrow when we go out for my birthday.
Overall, I don’t have an issue ordering food at restaurants specifically. I think WW’s has given me some great tools to help me stay healthy when I eat out. I only need my husband to stop being so sensitive and to get on-board. I hope this gets better.