1. Choose your restaurant wisely.
o If you are traveling, ask your hotel concierge, friends, or local people you meet where you will find healthy options on the menu.
o Use common sense when dining out in your area. You know the best choices – choose them
o Always try choosing a restaurant you have visited in the past and know for a fact they will cook to order with your special requests
2. Study the menu.
o Look for the best choice of protein, which is usually the fish, chicken or steak on the menu.
o Never choose heavy, sauce-laden dishes that are usually too high in butter, creams, sugar or salt.
o Always choose broiled, roasted, steamed or poached over all else.
3. AVOID THESE AT ALL COSTS.
o Even if finished in the oven and described as a baked entrée, dishes are often battered, fried, deep fried or pan fried first.
o Stay away from the bread basket, potatoes, fries and pastas.
o Avoid the butters, creams, creamed sauces, hollandaise, au gratin, cheese sauces and caramelized and sugared foods.
o No oil or butter – and all sauces and dressings on the side.
4. Choose a restaurant that caters to special requests.
o As soon as you’ve been seated, ask for a non-mineralized bottle of water and let the server know that you don’t want the bread basket. Ask them to bring out a mixed green salad or mixed veggie appetizer with the water to keep you occupied while you’re checking the menu.
o Ask that all sauces, butters, dressings and condiments be on the side for you to choose the amount you use.
o Choose the smallest portion for your protein choice; for example, an eight- to ten-ounce steak rather than 14 to 20 or more ounces.
o For dressings, always choose low-fat Italian or simple oil and vinegar.
5. Take “response-ability” for your meal.
o Avoid the foods you know you should avoid and choose wisely with special requests.
o Remove all fat and skin from any of the protein choices.
o Always choose vegetables, double salad or greens in place of white carbohydrate pastas, breads and potatoes.
o If possible, avoid alcohol. The calories are much tastier when eaten as part of the food portion of the meal, and you can add fresh fruit or sorbet at the end of the meal if you skip the alcohol.