Fine Dining and Phase 1

luke-curtis

If you are like me, you like to eat out. It is a great way to relax, connect with friends and family, experience your local culture, and of course, eat. Eating out has just as many cultural and social components as dietary ones, and if you are trying to stick to a restrictive diet, it can be a little tricky. Nobody wants to be the person at the table explaining to everyone why they won’t or can’t partake of a certain kind of food.

I have been here before, and I have a couple tips that might help keeping those phase 1 resolutions a little easier. 
 
1) Avoid the bread and/or chips. No one will look at you funny if you do. Try to talk to everyone at the table instead of grazing before a meal. If you are on a phase 2 diet, flour tortillas in moderation are ok, and guacamole is an excellent phase 1 food. Hot sauce is great too, as long as it isn’t sweetened with sugar. 
 
2) Have a salad for an appetizer instead of soup if it is an option. Most restaurants have made it a point to have a great variety of salads. Usually this is where I’ll be a little lenient on myself; I’ll use a little dressing even if it isn’t totally phase 1, but I usually get it on the side. Olive oil and lemon are a great substitute if you are being very strict. Soups very often contain some form of potato, corn, or other ingredients you want to avoid on phase 1. If there is a phase 1 appetizer like grilled shrimp, opt for that. 
 
3) Look for the simplest items on the menu. Grilled chicken, seared steak, and grilled fish are all great options and usually will come with seasonal vegetables. The less ingredients in your entree, the easier it will be to stick to phase 1. Avoid any dish that says pasta, corn, mushroom or potatoes. Your options will narrow very quickly on the menu, and it will make it easier to choose something healthy. 
 
4) Drink water.
 
5) Don’t even look at the dessert menu. You’ll save money and the second you walk out of the restaurant, you’ll be glad you did. 
 
If you have more practical advice, please comment so the other readers can check it out!
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