Eating out can be very challenging when trying to stay within your nutrition plan, but it is not impossible. With some specific instructions to your waiter you can have a healthier choice even in a restaurant. Below are some ideas for different types of restaurants.
Breakfast: Order an egg white or omelette. Just say “no oil or butter” and ask for the chef to use cooking spray. You may add any vegetables that you want into it. Ask for 1 or 2 slices of dry whole-wheat toast. Place 100% fruit jam or avocado on toast instead of butter. Occasionally the chef automatically puts butter on the toast. If this happens, send it back and mention that you asked for dry toast.
Chinese: Order steamed chicken, prawns or scallops. Remember that you can ask for a mix of prawns and chicken. Ask for steamed rice and steamed vegetables. To add flavour if you like spicy food, use the dry chilli pepper flakes. You can also use their plum sauce, ginger or lite soy sauce.
Continental: Order any grilled fish or chicken breast without butter, oil or sauce. Just ask that it be cooked with seasonings but no fat. Top with diced onions, tomatoes, or steamed spinach. Ask for the vegetable of the day to be steamed without butter.
Italian: Order grilled fish, such as snapper, or chicken breast, without butter, oil or sauce, smothered in steamed spinach with garlic and tomato sauce on the side and steamed asparagus or other vegetable. If you do not like garlic, be sure to always tell them.
Mexican: Instead of chips, ask for corn tortillas, dip in the hot sauce and enjoy just like the fried chips. Order fish or chicken breast rolled in Mexican spices and char-grilled with no fat. Smother the fish or chicken in Pico de Gallo (or salsa) and get some steamed vegetables on the side. You can also order grilled chicken fajitas without the skin, butter or oil. Place the chicken breast in corn tortillas with onion and salsa. Actually, grilled prawn/shrimp fajitas without butter or oil, wrapped in corn tortillas is a great meal and will contain less fat and calories than the chicken fajitas! Add all the Pico/salsa you want.
Seafood: Order a low fat fish, rolled in the same seasonings they blacken their fish with. Ask for it to be chargrilled without butter, oil or fat. Most seafood restaurants offer salsa which goes great over grilled fish. Ask for a plain baked potato topped with salsa or mustard and steamed veggies. A great choice if you like seafood is ceviche or prawn/shrimp cocktail with a baked potato.
Steak House: Filet mignon not only tastes great but has the least amount of fat of all the steaks, but be sure to order the petite size. You may also order a grilled lobster tail without the butter, a plain baked potato topped with salsa or mustard, and steamed vegetables such as asparagus or broccoli.
Sushi: Order the prawn or cucumber rolls, crab or California rolls made without mayo or fish eggs. Other items that would be a great choice include scallops, snapper, flounder and tuna. Be sure to use the light soy sauce for less sodium.