Dining Out With Your Valentine

Denise Austin by Denise Austin | February 11, 2015 | Nutrition

Valentine Dining


I love Valentine’s Day! It’s such a fun excuse to celebrate the ones you love. And often with that celebration, comes a special night out! I love food and there’s no reason why you can’t get out there and enjoy a nice dinner out, even if you’re trying to lose weight or prevent weight gain. A big part of my 10-Week Whole Body Plan is feeling great about yourself, and so often that has to do with the choices we make. So get out there and enjoy your dinner and all the yummy food, but do so in a way that you’re going to feel great about it afterwards!

If you’re on my 10-Week Plan, then your overall daily calorie goal is 1200-1800 calories per day, depending on your fitness level and goals. You want to make choices that will compliment that plan, while still enjoying your special day. You still want to enjoy a decadent “cheat,” but keep in mind that it’s still important to find balance. If you walk into a restaurant ravenous and ready to gorge yourself, you’ll likely exceed your calories in a single meal, never mind the entire day. Before you head out for the evening, and be sure to drink plenty of water to maintain healthy hydration and fill up your tummy. I like to eat a small apple before dinner, which helps, too. And be sure to get in a good workout that day.

When at a restaurant, I will often order the fresh fish, or choose something that is grilled or broiled – avoid anything that is fried. It’s not only not healthy, but it is likely to make you feel lousy afterwards, too! You may also want to consider sharing a meal, that way you get lots of delicious bites but not too much because it’s only half a portion. Especially when it comes to dessert!

After dinner, you may want to bundle up and go for a walk together. My husband Jeff and I love to go walking after dinner. It’s a great way for us to connect and catch up on our day, while we’re also moving and helping our food to digest.

Whether you are dining out with a loved one or friends, try these tips so you can use to still enjoy the food, but feel good afterwards, too!

Mexican Restaurant
● Choose corn instead of flour tortillas. Corn tortillas are also a great replacement for fried chips when it comes to scooping up the veggie-filled salsa.
● Go for fajitas and tacos. Not only will you get lots of veggies, but you can choose the quantity of cheese and beans to add.
● Substitute a side salad for rice. Spanish rice is often fried before it’s steamed, so you end up getting a lot more fat and calories than you may realize.
● Go for skinny margaritas. Regular margaritas clock in around 300 calories. You can save a lot of those calories by asking for a skinny variety, made with tequila, lime juice, and hint of agave nectar.

Asian Restaurant
● Start with soup. Almost all Asian soups are broth-based, and are a low-calorie way to fill up without feeling too full.
● Enjoy green tea. Not only is it filled with antioxidants, but it will also keep you full so that you don’t overeat.
● Avoid fried items. Spring rolls, tempura, and fried noodles should be avoided. Order steamed dumplings or summer rolls (wrapped in rice paper) instead.
● Sauce on the side. If you get the sauce mixed in, your food will be swimming in it. Getting it on the side allows you to use just enough to season your food.
● Try chopsticks. You’ll eat more slowly than you would if you use a fork. The extra time it takes will allow you to get a true sense of fullness.

Italian Restaurant
● Start with a salad – the fresh veggies will help fill you up.
● Choose minestrone or vegetable soups, which have fewer calories and fat than cream-based soups.
● Skip the bread basket. Be especially careful of garlic bread or breadsticks, which are often smothered in butter.
● Go red. When it comes to sauces, choose marinara, red clam, or puttanesca sauces over cream-based or Alfredo sauces.
● Skip the side dish of pasta. Ask the waiter for vegetables or a side green salad with your dish instead.
● Dress your pizza perfectly. Go for a plain and simple pizza with fresh vegetables instead of fatty meats. If whole-wheat crust if available, make that your choice.

I have more healthy eating tips in my Whole Body Plan, so start your free trial today! And above all, enjoy your special day! It’s moments where we are connecting with the ones we love that make life even more special. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

Let’s get fitter, together – inside and out


ALSO CHECK: Overcoming A Weight Loss Plateau

Video Script:
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