Surviving a short notice dinner invitation


image credit: farm4.static.flickr.com

It is difficult to stay on track when we are not prepared.  You are going through your day like normal, expecting to have your normal dinner when you get home.  You know how many points/calories you will have left when you leave work.  Then it happens, you get the unexpected invitation to go out to eat with friends, family, or significant other.  That’s a good thing, but how do we handle it.  How do we stay on the straight path while still enjoying the company and food.  Well it certainly is possible, but with no time to prepare  we need to have a long term routine for such situations.  Here is what I do.  I certainly don’t do it very good sometimes, but it is my strategy to stay on the right path and have a good time all at once.

  • Eat before you go.  I try and eat veggies, pickles, and other “free” stuff before I go.  This is so that I am not EXTREMELY hungry when I get to the restaurant.
  • Take half home.  You can do this right away when you get your food or you  can use self control.  The latter is safer.  Just ask for a to go box when they bring your meal.
  • Drink a lot of water and coffee.  Beverages can be filling and they allow you to keep your hands and mouth busy.
  • Talk more and relate.  While you are drink your beverage and everyone else is chowing down on the bottomless bread, just enjoy the company.  Talk to your friends and focus on them rather than the food.
  • Order healthy.  As you already know.  Staying away from the fried and sauteed stuff is a good idea.  Broiled, grilled and baked are better.  Also, for things like baked potatoes and salads, get the goodies on the side.

This is what I do as my way of sticking to my program.  What do you guys do?


14 Responses to “Surviving a short notice dinner invitation”

  1. February 5, 2009 at 4:23 am

    What I started doing before we go out to eat is get online & check to see if there is a menu online I find alot of places are putting there menu online some have the calories. It only takes 5 min Try it if you havent done this. It works for me.

    • 2 run4change
      February 5, 2009 at 5:00 am

      THat is a great strategy. I have found it to be extremely helpful and I also try to do this if I have the chance.

  2. February 5, 2009 at 6:12 am

    If I can’t find an online menu with nutrition info, I just go for grilled chicken and if it comes with sauces or glazes that aren’t so good for me — I just ask to cut it. I’ve struggled with asking for so many modifications — but typically the waiter/waitress is willing to work with you to get it the way you want it (or need it). Chicken can be boring but it helps to eliminate the anxiety of the unknown in the other dishes. 🙂

    • 4 run4change
      February 5, 2009 at 6:40 am

      Great comment. We do have to be assertive about what we want when we eat out. It is just so hard for me to order chicken because I eat it at home so much. 🙂

  3. February 5, 2009 at 6:17 am

    I do the online menu thing too, it means I don’t have to look at the menu when it’s handed to me at the restaurant and tempt me to order something else. If the restaurant doesn’t have many healthy choices, I’ll do the best I can and try to eat light the following day. I’ll also try to drink a glass of water before my meal even comes out so I’m not starving. Restaurants will usually allow you to substitute side dishes too, so if you don’t have the healthiest main course, you can at least get veggies on the side instead of fries or mashes potatoes.

  4. 7 Kim
    February 5, 2009 at 6:23 am

    I also look teh menu up online and find the nutritional info. Then I don’t even look at the menu and get tempted by all teh yummy things I really want!

    • 8 run4change
      February 5, 2009 at 6:42 am

      Great idea Kim. I have never thought about not even looking at the menu once I get there. That could help avoid lots of temptations

  5. February 5, 2009 at 8:11 am

    I do the online menu thing, but I also never – almost never – eat my weekly points allowance. This lets me indulge in some things like sharing a creme brulee with someone or having a more “luxurious” meal or even a slice of that bread. That way I don’t feel like I’m on a diet while everyone is eating normally. I feel like I’m being normal too, but more moderate and reasonable and healthy in my choices.

  6. February 5, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    I do a lot of the same things: drinking water, eating beforehand, order healthy. Sometimes, if I can’t eat before I go out, I will just order the healthiest appetizer on the menu to hold me over until I can eat later– at home. I also tend to keep my weekly points around for situations like this rather than just snacking them away for no good reason.

    You are right that it is always a challenge. I hate that my spontaneity seems to have suffered, but I suspect I’m more spontaneous in other ways.

    • 12 run4change
      February 5, 2009 at 12:57 pm

      OH yeah, now that I have lost weight I am much more spontaneous in other ways. Just because I am not as embarrased about how I look

  7. February 5, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    One strategy I remember my mom using was to order all veggie side dishes. This was, of course, before good quality salads-as-main-dishes started appearing on the menu. I’ve sometimes split an entree with my husband and then ordered extra veggies on the side.

    • 14 run4change
      February 5, 2009 at 8:18 pm

      Good strategies pubsy. I like them. I also purchased and tried the unsweetened almond milk. I loooooove it. It is gonna work great.

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