I would bet that pretty much everyone enjoys going out to eat. Not having to prepare a meal, not needing to clean the dishes and being in a fun atmosphere are aspects of dining out that we all embrace. Many patients, upon entering the SP Program ask whether “going out to eat” is compatible with our program. My answer is a resounding “yes”.
During a weight control journey, choosing the “right” types of restaurants will be important to ensure that progress to better health is not derailed. As you know from your visits with us, maximizing proteins and vegetables intake while minimizing carbs, fruits and alcohol is the best strategy to getting that weight down.
So, what are the best restaurant choices to “stay the course”? Well, let’s first list the NOT very best restaurants:
- “Fast food” burger and chicken places: Taking the burgers off the bun, avoiding the fries and not buying the shakes are not simply good enough. The proteins are not high quality and entering these places will provide too much temptation to eat the stuff on their menus that blow up our weight control efforts
- The “assembly line” sort of fast food places: The protein they provide is minimal at best
- Mexican/New Mexican restaurants: Avoiding the chips and margueritas as well as the multiple burritos, tacos, chimachangas and other fried/dough containing dishes is too difficult
- IHOP: need I say more? Pancakes and eggs laced with pancake batter are not exactly the best foods for weight control
There are MANY restaurants that offer great protein and vegetable choices:
- Diners (stay away from the Pita bread!)
- Italian (salmon, veal, BUT try to avoid the pasta and pizza!)
- Steak/seafood: This is exactly what needs to be consumed…just avoid the breadbaskets, desserts and cocktails
Hey, a little help here…send YOUR recommendations for restaurants that allow you to have a great experience and yet maintain the dietary strategy needed for weight control. I will share this recommendations with everyone (oops…may make it more difficult for you to get reservations, but come on…take one for the team!)