One of the pleasures of following the Atkins Nutritional Approach™ is that you can eat out with relative ease. Once you learn how to keep excess carbs at bay, you can enjoy virtually any cuisine.
If it’s Chinese, it’s the rice; with Italian, it’s the pasta; and with Indian food, the breads. But once you accept that these foods are no-nos and you comply with the guidelines below, you could literally dine out every night without straying from the Atkins plan.
Don’t skip meals or arrive at a restaurant starving. When you are super hungry, you may lose your self-control when you come face to face with the breadbasket or high-carb appetizers. Instead, enjoy a hard-boiled egg or a few slices of cheese before you go out, or if you’re out running errands before dinner, snack on an Atkins Advantage™ bar. You can also ask for some steamed veggies to nibble on before your main course arrives.
Drink at least two glasses of water with your meal to help fill up.
Be adventurous: Try one or two dishes you’ve never had before instead of ordering the same ones time after time. If you’re bored with your food it’s harder to stick to your weight-control regimen, so go for variety.
Many restaurants feature their menus online. Try to visit their Web sites to review the offerings and map out your dining plan ahead of time.
Ask to have your dishes without the extras—rice, beans, potatoes or pasta. Most restaurants will also accommodate requests for a portion of vegetables in lieu of such high-carb starches.
Ask for sauces on the side so you can decide whether and how much to consume.
Soup is a great appetite squelcher. Miso soup, many cream soups and clear broth with meat or vegetables are all satisfying and delicious ways to jump-start a controlled carb meal.
Never save room for dessert. Go ahead and fill up on everything else so that you will feel satiated by the end of the meal and not prone to temptation.
Don’t give in to the “I deserve it” mode. What you deserve is to be healthy while still enjoying the foods you already love, not succumbing to unhealthy indulgences.
Don’t torture yourself if you accidentally consume something that’s been batter-dipped or a breaded. Remember that it’s only one meal.
If there’s a controlled carb dish you particularly relish at a restaurant, ask if you can find out how to make it at home. That way you can add to your repertoire of favorites and enjoy it as often as you like.