Send in the Subs
American diets are traditionally loaded with high fat and high carbohydrate foods and high sugar beverages that make it exceedingly difficult to achieve and maintain a goal bodyweight. A portion of the problem may come from the fact that nobody likes, or has time, to cook anymore and the majority of us just tend to scarf down whatever the friendly servers bring us with our chosen entrée without question. If you have plans of ever actually achieving those washboard abs on a diet that primarily consists of meals eaten out though, you’d better get accustomed to asking for menu substitutions.
We’ll start where your waiter or waitress will start – with the drink order. In order to make the best of your caloric consumption at a meal in a restaurant, try to stick with zero calorie beverages like water, unsweetened tea or black coffee. If none of these beverages are available or seem tolerable, move up the list of the lesser evils until you find something that will work for you. Keep in mind that drinking a ton of excess calories isn’t going to help you reach your fat loss goals and choose the lowest calorie option available that you’ll be able to enjoy.
Next up comes the appetizers which, depending upon the establishment that you are visiting, you may or may not want to completely avoid. An appetizer consisting of fresh grilled vegetables, a lean protein or a salad with low fat (or no fat) dressing could be the perfect way to avoid overindulging on your entrée and sides with very little guilt. If your options only consist of deep fried foods and a variety of breads or high carb starches, you might want to just enjoy another tall glass of water while you wait for your meal to arrive.
As you order your meal, there is a very good chance that you’ll hear an available list of side dishes that will seriously hamper your dietary efforts. When the question, “Would you like rice, mashed potatoes or French fries?” inevitably pops from your server’s mouth, you should always ask for a vegetable substitution if possible. Steer clear of potatoes in mashed, baked, fried and chip form and do your best to avoid side dishes in bread or pasta form.
There will almost always be a green or mixed vegetable option available and the vast majority of the time it will be free. If you do find yourself having to shell out an extra dollar or two per meal in order to sub some extra nutrients onto your plate in place of some high fat or high carb side though, the possibility of actually being able to see your abs will be well worth the expense.
Last, but certainly not least, exercise a bit of control when eating out. Just because your server brings you an exceedingly full plate of food, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve got to finish it. The portion sizes offered up in many restaurants are more than enough to feed two people, there is absolutely no need to overstuff yourself and consume hundreds of excess calories just because they happen to be placed in front of you.
Most people have at least a decent grasp on what types of foods and practices will either help reach their dietary goals and what types of foods will hamper them. Just knowing that vital information isn’t enough though, you need to use that knowledge at every meal, especially those eaten out, if you ever want to be able to realize the physical goals that you’ve set for yourself.
About Jeff Wilson Jeff Wilson has been involved in some form of sports and athletic training for more than two decades: as an athlete, a trainer and a writer.