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How Can We Use Menus To Help?

There is LOTS of work required to lose weight and keep that weight off.  If it were easy, 70% of our population would not be overweight.   Some of this work entails “plotting” strategies when eating situations change venues.  When you are at home, there is complete control of what foods are available and how they can be prepared.  This, of course, assumes that shopping has occurred to ensure that the right types of foods (i.e. proteins and vegetables) are present in the household.

Previous studies report that over 60% of people eat out at restaurants at least once a week and 20% eat at restaurants 3 or more times a week.  I suspect that families with dual working parents may exceed those numbers as this relates to either eating at restaurants or having food picked up or delivered.  I further would venture that the Northern VA/DC/Maryland area, due to higher incomes than most areas of the country, may exceed these statistics as well.

When you are on a weight control journey, it is best to not make spontaneous choices when dining out.  When we sit down at the restaurant, enjoy the ambiance of being at a place where we are being served, and everyone around us seems to have that nice looking glass of wine or beautifully colored daiquiri drink, a food plate that has great looking pasta/potatoes as an accompaniment and that chocolate lava cake for dessert, it is very tempting to follow the same path.  By doing so, almost an entire week of focused weight loss efforts can be derailed.

Doing some advanced “scouting” can be very helpful to navigate around the challenges that restaurant dining presents.  How best to do this?  Go online (not to watch cat videos on Youtube or see what your Facebook friends are doing today) find the website of the restaurant you will be heading to and check out the menu.  You do not necessarily need to decide exactly what you will eat once there, but looking at the menu will provide you with some insight as to:

1- find an appetizer/soup/salad/main course/side dishes that you will like

2-Identify the right combination that will not completely wreck your week of focused weight control.

Long-term weight control success requires planning and strategizing.  Looking at a restaurant’s menu before actually going there can be of great help.

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