Don’t be afraid to eat out! Lots of people eat out on WW and do just fine. They are knowledgeable about where they eat and what they eat, but as you get used to what your needs are it will become second nature and a part of your lifestyle. Here’s the WW Restaurant Survival Guide.
My wife and I eat out regularly and so do many others and the range of food goes from fast food (yes McDonald’s and Wendy’s every now and then) all the way to high-end steak houses and everything in between. There are a few things to consider, however. Track your points as best you can before you go. We head to the web and pull up the menu well before we go and will have pretty much whittled down the menu to a handful of options already. For mainstream chain restaurants like Olive Garden, Chipotle, Panera Bread, Outback Steakhouse or Carrabba’s you can find most of their regular dishes in the app and can pre-track your points before you go. Also, don’t be embarrassed to ask for something to be changed up to suit your requirements like getting grilled chicken or get sauces on the side, so you can control the amount you have. Many restaurants have learned that there are a lot of food conscious people out there and are happy to accommodate you. I have never had to leave a restaurant because they refused to make some changes, but I am absolutely prepared to walk out if they don’t.
Steakhouses and non-chain restaurants pose a little more difficult challenge, but you will master the art of negotiating your way to the best options AND stacking your points up in the days before to help get you to some foods you just can’t go past.
Regardless of where you are eating, making good choices is the key to being successful. I have seen people fill up on bread & butter ahead of a 16oz, fatty steak with a large gob of butter on top and then mashed potatoes with gravy, followed up with a large slice of chocolate cake. Instead, balance your meal with your points. Fill up on zero points salad, order low points appetizers or soup and then ask yourself if you really need a 16oz steak or could you do an 8oz or 6oz filet instead.
If you are eating out for business it can be an even bigger challenge when people urge you to have something that you really don’t want. I am often confronted with “Why don’t we all get something to share”? – especially on the appetizers. It is easy to give in but remember, some people subconsciously, or consciously perceive it as a challenge to see if they can “break” your resolve. Hold your ground, you will be stronger for it.
I recently had a business dinner where there were 3 of us and the appetizer conversation went like this:
Guest 1: “Hmmm the Chicken Donuts sound interesting; there’s one for each of us”.
Me: “Not for me, you guys can split the 3rd one between you, I have my eye on the curried roasted cauliflower bites, they sound delicious”.
Guest 2: “They are pretty small, one won’t kill you”?
Me: “No, I’m good, I have lost nearly 60lbs in the last 9 months by eating right, so I’ll pass, but thanks for the thought”.
Guest 1: “Ok, I’ll bet you want one when they arrive”?
Me: “No, I have learned some very good willpower when it comes to my long-term health, so you guys can fight over the 3rd one”.
The more you learn to hold your ground, the better you will feel about winning the challenge. I am sure your guests aren’t about to hold you down and force feed you.