Hey, it’s ok to interrogate your wait staff.

It’s your food, your health and your money…so do it without shame.

I say that because one of the biggest challenges for people on a weight loss plan, is where to dine and maintain a devotion to clean eating during their weight loss journey.

Here are some  simple ways to stay true to your mission and enjoy a great dining experience at the same time.

  • Identify Specific Types of Restaurants:  I always instruct my clients who travel for work, to always check out what healthy restaurant selections are available in the city they’re about to visit.  It can be vegetarian, juice bars, gyms with nutrition bars or traditional restaurants with “healthy options.”   This simple practice applies to your home town.  For example, in my smart phone, I have a list of restaurants for most neighborhoods in Pittsburgh where I know I can get good food without sacrificing my devotion to clean eating.
  • Interrogate the Wait Staff:  sometimes, you have to go where your business partners choose or where there is a gathering of friends.  Let’s say you don’t get a chance to fix your own meal before you arrive and you absolutely must eat something at the place where you’re gathered.  No problem!  This is the fun part.  Simply look for the side dishes and see what vegetables are offered.  Pick something you like.  Let’s say you want chicken, but don’t like how it’s prepared on the menu.  Ask the wait staff and chef to prepare it the way you want.  If you like a meat selection but the side items are not working, ask to swap out.  Take rice for example, if they’re serving white rice, ask to swap it out for brown rice.  Keep swapping, switching and deleting until you have an entree you know fits your eating plan.  The bottom line is that most restaurants can accommodate you and want to accommodate you because they want you to come back.
  • Tell Them How to Cook:  I visited a very popular sports bar in Atlanta to watch some football.  I checked out their side dishes and ordered mushrooms and broccoli with some sautéed shrimp.  The problem is that the veggies were cooked in butter so I sent it back and asked if they could cook it in olive oil.  They said yes and I was happy.  When I visit one of my favorite Thai restaurants, I always instruct them to lightly cook my vegetables and not over cook them.  They do it and I’m happy.

So take the time to scout out uniquely good places to eat or be prepared to take the time to work with your wait staff to come up with combinations that work for you.  Eating out can be just as rewarding as your homemade meals.