Once you have figured out how your body tolerates foods, feel free to enjoy going out to dinner. It is important for you to be aware of the types of foods you choose, the quantity and quality of the foods, and the length of time it takes you to eat your meal. Here are some tips that may help make dining out a part of a healthy diet.
Plan ahead. Decide what you plan on ordering before you get to the restaurant.
Be familiar with menu descriptions. "Breaded, creamed, fried, scalloped, au gratin, and rich" are sources of extra calories and fat. Look instead for items that are "Poached, stir-fried, roasted, baked, grilled, or steamed" since these are usually lower in fat.
Ask about ingredients. Request that your meal be prepared without cream sauce, gravy, butter, heavy oils, or other fats. Ask for dressings on the side.
Ask about serving sizes. Most restaurants will try to accommodate your requests however this may not always be possible. Try to work with the restaurant to make reasonable changes or assist you in making appropriate food choices. You can request half portions, share your entrée with your dining partner or order a la carte. Be careful if you are allowed to order off the children's menu, which can be very high in fat. Some places may allow you to order off of the senior's menu.
Request items that may not be on the menu. Nonfat milk, light-broth based soups, and fruit are often available but not included on the menu.
Brunch and buffet basics. Choose lean protein, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Slices of meat or omelets (no added oils or sauces) may be available. Watch out for warming pans with entrees sitting in butter, cream sauces, oils, or gravy. Watch out for muffins, specialty breads, and rolls. Fat and calories can add up fast, be on alert!
Salad Bar Caution. Salad dressings can be very high in fat and sugars. Creamy salads (macaroni, coleslaw, potato) and some toppings can be very high in fat. These can add up to many calories and remember to watch your portion sizes.
Bread Basket Beware. Ask that the bread basket, crackers, chips, etc. not be brought to the table until the main meal is served. This will allow you to eat your meal first.
Dessert Disasters. Most restaurant desserts are loaded with fat, sugar, and calories, which may lead you to "dumping syndrome." Instead look for fresh fruit or try to avoid dessert.
Alcohol Awareness. Alcohol should be avoided for at least the first year.