How to Stay on Track When out to Lunch

Article posted in: Lifestyle
Vintage open sign on a dinner plate with fork and knive on an old wooden table

Your friend invites you out to lunch and of course you want to go, but… you’re trying to lose weight. What if you fall off your diet? What if it becomes an excuse to overindulge?

It actually doesn’t have to be either. You can go ahead and meet your friend, enjoy that meal out and still stick to your healthy eating plan–no worries, no guilt. Here are some tips to help you enjoy lunches out without falling off track:

Do Some Prep
Check online menus and scan for healthier fare, or nutrition information if available, before you go. Try to decide what you’ll eat before you go to help avoid temptation. And pay attention to how a dish is described—if it’s creamy, rich, fried or crispy, it’s likely loaded with extra calories. Look for foods that are steamed, broiled, baked or grilled.

Consider Your Drink
It’s easy to forget, but drinks can do just as much diet damage as unhealthy food options. Stick with plain or fizzy water with a slice of lemon or lime. Unsweetened tea is fine, too, as well as fat-free or low-fat milk. Consult your Grocery Guide to determine how your drink picks count on Nutrisystem.

Ask for Substitutes
It’s ok to make special requests or tweak a meal so it falls more in line with your diet plan. If your turkey burger is served on a roll smothered in mayo, ask to replace that with a slice of whole grain bread, plain; if your meal comes with fries, switch them out for a steamed vegetable. If you’re following the Nutrisystem program, pick and choose from the menu to try and create a flex meal. Need a refresher on flex meals? We’ve got you completely covered here.

Flex Meals and The Nutrisystem Meal Plan Explained

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Control Portions
Most restaurants pile enough food on the plate for two, so ask your server to box half right away, or split your meal with your dining partner. You could also just order an appetizer instead of a large entrée, and add a simple green salad on the side.

Savor your food
It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get the message from your stomach that you are full. If you are fast, you’re more likely to overeat; slow down and you tend to eat less and still feel satisfied.