Navigating the Menu and Your New BFF, The Waiter

The last thing you need to lose while losing weight is your social life. The good news is that you don’t have to!  Most restaurants are very accommodating and will bend over backwards to accommodate you; you simply need to know what to ask for and how to order.

During your journey towards Optimal Health, you will learn to how to “Optimize” your choices at restaurants and at social events while doing the Optimal365 Weight Loss Program.  You will successfully master the skill of “Optimization,” this ensures you will sustain your weight loss and continue to experience Optimal Health for Life!  These are a few of the tips I have up my sleeve as Chief Optimizer, sign up for one of my Optimization Seminars (coming soon!) to get a more hands on training!

First of all, my overarching principle when dining out is to avoid most fast food restaurants.  There are often tons of fillers and chemical additives that will delay your goals for Optimal Health and weight loss.  Did you know that a burger from the golden arches has wheat and soy in the patty to bulk it out?  Did you know that most of the chicken at fast food joints is injected with sodium and “flavor enhancers.”

You deserve to eat actual  FOOD, in fact, your body requires it!  The real deal, so when you opt to eat out, get the good stuff!

These are my Top Ten “Optimizing Dining Out” Tips:

  1. Request a Gluten Free Menu.  Let your new waiter friend know that you have some “food allergies and sensitivities: gluten, dairy, soy, most nuts and sugar.”  Be humble and apologetic, let them know you LOVE food and would love any recommendations they may have.
  2. NEVER say that you are on a diet – first of all, because you are not.  And quite frankly, who wants to dine with a dieter?!
  3. If there isn’t a GF menu to review or your waiter seems clueless, NO WORRIES, think of your Optimal Food List  (lean meats, vegetables, greens, fruit, healthy oils & vinegars).  Peruse the menu for protein dishes that are grilled, baked or sautéed in olive oil.
  4. Skip or ‘hold’ the sauces or gravies – they are secret hiding places for MSG, butter, sugar, flavorings, etc.
  5. Hold the starchy sides (rice, potatoes, breads) and request EXTRA vegetables – steamed, roasted, grilled or sautéed in olive oil. Remember: 2 veggies per meal rule!  Including when you are dining out!
  6. Salads – review the toppings and hold the typical offenders (nuts, cheese, avocados (only while losing weight), bacon bits, croutons, deep fried onions, beans, etc.) and ALWAYS get your dressing on the side (make sure it is a vinaigrette or oil & vinegar on the side.)
  7. Be Bold and Creative – Ask for things off the menu.  If you see a salad you like, request protein on it (ex: seafood, chicken, steak)
  8. Burgers – one of my favorites!  I simply skip the bun and request a lettuce wrapped burger.
  9. Mexican – Carne Asada (make sure its not prepared in lard) or Chicken with side salad and Pico de Gallo.  Salsa is my favorite salad dressing!  Ask your server if they can prepare something the way you want it.
  10. Breakfast – Eggs, however you like them! Pack it full of veggies – like diced tomato, onion, and spinach and fresh fruit on the side, just skip the potatoes, toast and pancakes – easy!

I’d love to hear about your tips and tricks for dining out!  Please share.  Enjoy!   Indulge! Buon Appetito!

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