I don't have my book with me so I don't have any quotes for you, but I can give you a pretty good overview.
Beck says not to avoid eating out. Like everything else she has tried to teach us, she wants us to practice eating out in a non stressful situation, with a friend or family member where we won't feel any pressure. She also recommends practicing ordering food the way you want it, so you will build confidence and not feel intimidated by servers or pressured by your dining companions.
Her recommendations are pretty much what I've learned at Weight Watchers through the years. I'm adding a few of my own techniques in here as well.
- If possible, review the menu ahead of time and decide what you're going to eat and then you don't even need to look at the menu.
- If you can't review the menu, make a decision about what you will order in a general way, i.e. fish and salad, pasta with tomato sauce - that way when you are faced with the menu you are only looking for food that fits your criteria.
- Don't eat any bread brought to the table. If you want an appetizer, have a clear soup or a salad with dressing on the side and dip your fork into it rather than pour it over your salad.
- Eat a small meal before going so you won't get hungry while you're waiting for your meal. In large groups, you can wait up to an hour for your food to actually arrive.
- Be assertive, but polite. Order your food the way you want it, i.e. grilled with no oil, vegetables without butter.
- Eat only half the portion. Either take the rest home for another meal, or leave it.
- Order two appetizers instead of an appetizer and an entree.
- Share a dessert with 2 others and have two bites only.
- Focus on eating mindfully, eat slowly and stop before full.
- Plan to eat up to 25% more calories for the eating out meal than you would for the same meal eaten at home.
- Drink lots of water to help flush out the excess sodium in restaurant food.
- Focus on the company and conversation, make the food incidental.
How do you handle eating out? Do you find you eat out alot less, more or the same now you are trying to lose weight and get healthier?