Are you following a 1500 calorie a day diet? Do you look forward to Family Night Out with more anxiety than excitement? Let me tell you a secret: You don't have to!
It's true. You can still enjoy your dinner without "saving your calories" (for which I slap your hand - that's the biggest no-no of all!)
Yes, we save over half the calories by swapping a night out with cooking at home. But it's also not realistic to think dinners out don't come up or that we can eliminate them all together.
Meal (and snack) planning becomes more important than ever when you know you'll be eating out. I know I've said countless times "review the menu before you go" to see what your options are. But what if you don't just stop there...how about reviewing your entire DAY and planning accordingly? It might look differently that a normal day, but adjust as necessary to still fuel your day & keep your blood sugar levels stable.
A 1500 calorie day might look something like this when you have a dinner out planned:
6:00 a.m. Breakfast (271 calories)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 serving vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
9:00 a.m. Snack (109 calories)
5 extra large raw strawberries
1 wheel of Babybel light cheese
12:30 p.m. Lunch (445 calories)
1 oz natural turkey breast & 1 oz natural roast beef on Whole Food's Seeduction bread with a slice of baby Swiss & 1 TB yellow mustard
1 medium naval orange
4:30 p.m. Pre-workout snack (212 calories)
6 oz. plain Greek yogurt - 2%
8 chocolate chips - 60% dark
2 TB PB2
5:30 p.m. 60 minute workout
7:00 p.m. Dinner AT CHUY's! - (442 calories)
Mexi-Cobb Salad as on menu (no dressing)
1/2 cup fresh salsa as dressing
Total for day: 1,479 calories (47% carbs, 30% fat, 23% protein)
So you've done it - a balanced day that hits the macro-nutrient
breakdown as determined by the USDA (45%-65% carbohydrates,
20-30% fat and
10-30% protein). And let's just remember that almost half of the fat
grams you are eating today are from the fresh avocado on the Mexi-Cobb Salad you had for dinner.
Notice, there are no chips and salsa at dinner...I know it's hard but be strong! If you must indulge, limit yourself to 10 chips (93 calories!) and take away the slice of Swiss on your lunch sandwich (55 calories) and the chocolate chips in your yogurt (40 calories)...which will balance your calories and satisfy your craving.
But if you are like me and can't always stop once you start, the best choice might be to ask them not to bring them to the table at all.
**For an 1800 calorie diet you can add the following:
Lunch: 1/4 cup Whole Foods Tex Mex Quinoa (75 calories)
Dinner: 5 oz Chardonnay - most common restaurant pour (160 calories)
Total: 1,714 calories