Eating out -Can anyone relate?

  • I am just starting BFL and I'm wondering if anyone can relate to this problem and provide any tips.  

    I have a job that requires eating out in restaurants rountinely (client lunches, dinners, traveling, etc).  On almost every diet/program I've tried, this is always my undoing. Most of the time I'm eating in sit-down restaurants and fast-food isn't really a problem.  Can anyone provide any advice as to how I can stick to BFL while eating out? 


  • Grilled chicken salads with the dressing on the side.

    Skip the bread.

    Lots of water.

  • I would agree with Thayerphotos, skip the bread for sure. Stay away from sauces and salad dressing green salad no dressing instead of a ceaser for example. Stay away from deep fried appetizers and anything battered. Chicken, steak and fish are all good choices if not slathered in sauce. Look for wild rice, baked potato, whole wheat pasta as a carb. Watch out for things like garlic mashed potatoes. And like Thayerphotos said drink lots of water. You will have to scan the menu carefully and don't be afraid to make your needs known to the waitress. Most restaurants can easily cater to a specific need.

    You are in control of what goes into your mouth.  Don't eat it all if the portions are huge and skip desert. It is those little things we don't think matter that add up and can seriously hinder forward progress.

    A few ideas. I hope they help.

    Remember your goals and why you are changing your life. You can do this!!!


  • I took the foodlist in the book and reduced it in size on a photo copier.  I take that list with me so that whenever I eat out I can be sure to find something on the menu that is on the authorized list.  You may have to request adjustments when ordering but it should be doable.

    Love you some you...PERSEVERE!

  • Great advice!  Thanks to you all.

  • Yank, as a sales rep who is on the road a lot I can so relate. In the past those client meals were the un-doing of any diet programs I was on as well.

    I think the key to this situation like everything with BFL is planning. Don't be afraid to be specific with the waiter and order the plain grilled chicken *** with veggies, oh and no butter on the veggies please and can I get the vinigrette on the side. Thanks.

    I have a ton of planning to do myself for an upcoming week on the road visiting clients.  The hardest part I think will be not so much the food but the booze. Especially for dinner, clients tend to want to drink and have a good time.

  • Its going to be all about how you order it. You'll be able to find a lean protein just about anywhere you've just got to order it with no butter/oil/sauce.

  • Yeah, the planning is a good point.  I typically know when I have a lunch or dinner appointment. It's worth researching some restaurants and menus.  

    Thanks!  And I know what you mean about the booze.

  • I would also immediately ask for a to-go box if the portion is too big.  I do this every time I go out to eat and it helps with portion sizes and gives me my next meal.

    Good luck!


  • It's actually much easier than you think.   Most all places with the exception of Mexican and Chinese have healthy options.  It's up to you to order them.  Plain grilled protein, plain potato, plain steamed veggies.  

    Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right ~ Henry Ford

    Michelle Simpson ~2009 Body-for-LIFE Champion 46+ Catagory

  • As far as Fast food places here are some ideas, one from another website where I cut and pasted their answers.  I tend to look for lower calorie items on the menu.  Another strategy is to put half of my meal in a to go box for lunch tomorrow before I start to eat.  Outta sight outta stomach!

    Panda Express Wok Smart menu has a list of under 400 calories entrees, and I only order those.  Stay away from fried rice or plan rice and just get eht steamed veggies for your side.

    I like Einstein's under 400 calorie menu, too.  Amazing that their salads are NOT on that menu, because of cheese and dressing!


    Here is something I cut and pasted from another website when I was searching for an answer.  I only copied the three highesst rated and stayed away form McD and BK  Chick-a-fil?  Who would have thought that (I have never been there because the name makes me thing it is deep fried!) so I guess I learned something today.  It appears to be focusing on what to feed kids, but since you have kids it is still a good guide.  


    Eating Out, Who is Healthiest?

    How Did your favorite restaurant grade for healthiness?



    Chick-fil-A excels in every category we tested for. With a slew of low-calorie sandwiches, the country’s “healthiest” chicken nugget, a variety of solid sides like fresh fruit and soup that can be substituted into any meal, and nutritional brochures readily available for perusing at each location, Chick-fil-A earns the award for America’s Healthiest Chain Restaurant (for kids, for the adults who drive them there, plus anybody else wise enough to make it their fast food choice).

    Your Survival Strategy: Even the smartest kid in the class can still fail a test, so be on your toes at all times, even at Chik-fil-A. Skip salads with ranch or Caesar dressings, any sandwich with bacon, and avoid milkshakes at all costs.



    A menu based on lean protein and vegetables is always going to score well in our book. With more than half a dozen sandwiches under 300 calories, plus a slew of soups and healthy sides to boot, Subway can satisfy even the pickiest eater without breaking the caloric bank.

    But, despite what Jared may want you to believe, Subway is not nutritionally infallible: Those rosy calorie counts posted on the menu boards include neither cheese nor mayo (add 160 calories per 6-inch sub) and some of the toasted subs, like the Meatball Marinara, contain hefty doses of calories, saturated fat, and sodium.

    Your Survival Strategy: Cornell researchers have discovered a “health halo” at Subway, which refers to the tendency to reward yourself or your kid with chips, cookies, and large soft drinks because the entrée is healthy. Avoid the halo, and all will be well.


    Boston Market

    With more than a dozen healthy vegetable sides and lean meats like turkey and roast sirloin on the menu, the low-cal, high-nutrient possibilities at Boston Market are endless. But with nearly a dozen calorie-packed sides and fatty meats like dark meat chicken and meat loaf, it’s almost as easy to construct a lousy meal.

    Your Survival Strategy: There are three simple steps to nutritional salvation: 1) Start with turkey, sirloin, or rotisserie chicken. 2) Add two noncreamy, nonstarchy vegetable sides. 3) Ignore all special items, such as pot pie and nearly all of the sandwiches.

  • Oh, yeah...Wendy's small chili, no crackers.  A balanced meal!

  • Having a Myoplex Lite shake before you go also helps with the eating too much, keeps you pretty full so you can feel satisfied :)

    "Success is figuring out a way  NOT to quit"