A Month’s Worth of Dinners

I stuck to my goal of setting up dinners for this month to keep a handle on healthy eating. The plan seems kind of lame. I was too lazy to look up recipes. Lately I’ve been trying a lot of new recipes, kind of a kick I’m on. So I’m guessing this plan could change quite a bit when I run into interesting recipes. And some of the things I look at and think, “we don’t really eat that much”. I seem better at planning a weeks worth of dinners since it’s less overwhelming. I also didn’t try to plan the meals I know I will be eating out. Yet, anyways. Here’s how I handle eating out:

  • know what I’m going to eat beforehand
    • if it’s a restaurant I’ve never been to, look up the menu online and pick something
    • if the menu’s not available, decide to eat salad or chicken since most restaurants will offer these
    • if it’s a restaurant I’ve been to and know the menu well, still have in mind ahead what I will order
  • avoid higher calorie items
    • if possible, don’t order sauces, gravies, added fats/butter, dessert
    • if possible, ask for added calorie items to be left off the dish, like croutons, crispy tortilla strips, bacon (some restaurants think everything should include bacon)
    • ask for gravies, sauces, dressings to be put on the side
    • choose salad dressing carefully, there’s a wide range of differences in calories. I usually go for balsamic vinaigrette if they offer it
    • avoid things that require added calories to enjoy. I can’t eat a baked potato plain. I need lots of butter and sour cream. So I just don’t order baked potatoes.
  • if I’m really cravings something higher in calories and just can’t resist, I only eat half the serving, like half a big, fat, juicy burger
  • which leads to: pay attention to portion sizes. You do not have to eat everything on the plate!
  • never, ever, eat the bread
  • always, order only water to drink (unless it’s a special occasion)
  • if given a choice of sides, order the veggies if offered
  • no, I don’t want to add a side of fries for $1.99, thank you
  • be careful with alcoholic drinks, tequila on the rocks with a lime has way, way less calories than a margarita and a light beer has way, way less calories than a craft beer
  • never, ever, order dessert
  • try to go easy on calories for the rest of the day to balance the possible heavier load from eating out

Your plan for eating out may look different (for instance, the bread may be okay for you to eat). But the point is to have a plan. Too many times, I’ve come home from eating out and enter the meal into myfitnesspal and am miserable to discover how many calories it was. Having a plan has helped a lot and if nothing else, I’m no longer shocked at how many calories are in restaurant food.

dinners sm