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Sure, it’s easy to stick to the nutrition plan as long as you are some sort of freak that cooks every meal and has nothing but time in the world, right?  But some of us actually have LIVES and can’t spend 4 hours per day cooking, and we are on the run a lot and don’t have a choice.  Right?  We have to eat out, and when we do all bets are off.  But hey, it’s not our fault.  That’s beyond our control, right?

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Not so fast!  I am not going to let everyone off that easy!! I am on the go as well.  I leave my house early in the morning and don’t get home until dinner.  And I have my diet dialed in 100%.  So I don’t want to hear the excuse that just because you aren’t at home to cook, that you are a victim.  You choose what you eat.  You have to own that!  For me, 90% of the time, I take everything with me when I leave the house so that I’ll have my morning snack, my lunch, and my afternoon snacks — all pre-planned and ready to go.  That’s a sure fire way to stay on track.

But guess what, I do eat out some!  Yes it’s possible to eat out and not just throw the MyFitnessPal out the window for fear of what it will tell you was in that meal you just wolfed down!!!

I eat out for business lunch occasionally, and of course I have date night with my wife or family dinner out occasionally.   So what do I do?  I plan ahead, do my research, and make sure that even though I eat lunch out, I will exactly hit my caloires, protein, carbs, and fat for the day! You can eat out on a diet.

How to Eat Out on a Diet

Here’s how = I’ve put in some effort and researched the restaurants I frequent to find the healthiest options so I’m not forced into a corner when I get there.  Most restaurants post their nutritional info on line, and you can look ahead of time at the menu choices to find something that will fit in your daily plan.  Will it be chips and queso?  NO!  But you can still eat out and enjoy yourself without feeling guilty afterwards!  The MyFitnessPal app has most restaurants you can think of in it’s database as well, so that’s a great resource if you are out and about and don’t have time to look online at a restaurant’s nutritional info.  It can help you narrow down some menu options into what best fits your diet.

Rules of thumb = Often, you can do well with grilled chicken salads (assuming you skip the dressing, cheese, and croutons).  Soups can be good or bad depending on the ingredients and the base it’s cooked in (vegetable bases are good but creamy bases often have lots of fat and calories).  Sandwiches on wheat bread can be a great choice as well, but be careful about the toppings and condiments.  Mustard is a good choice, but mayo, BBQ, oil and vinegar, etc. will really add calories.  Also, the bread can be deceiving so go for wheat whole grain bread as opposed to white bread.  At nice, sit down restaurants, you are usually safe with steamed veggies of all kinds.  Sauteed veggies will be packed with fat though so avoid them!  Chicken, fish and steaks are good too, as long as you look at how they are prepared.  Grilled is great.  Be careful with other methods as they may use oils and butters to prepare them.  You can get a lot of fat and sugar that is hidden in the way a food is prepared.  For instance, at my favorite Asian food restaurant, I can turn a fattening meal into a very healthy one by ordering it with brown rice instead of white/fried rice, and by asking for my meat to be cooked “STOCK VELVET”, meaning that instead of the crispy coating, the meat is boiled.  It still has the spicy taste to it, but has way less fat and carbs.  Try this if you are an Asian food fan!

Eating at home is always safer, but if you are willing to plan ahead and resist the temptations while at the restaurant, you can survive eating out without the guilt and without the extra pounds that often plague those who eat out!

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