04 Feb Business Entertaining without the Weight Gain
Healthy entertaining means healthy business! Don’t let entertaining for business derail your healthy eating goals. Check out the top tips my clients use to ensure they can entertain without the gain.
Don’t show up to the restaurant starving or before you know it you’ve scarfed down several pieces of buttered bread before your main meal arrives. Check out the menu beforehand, so you can choose a healthier option, so you won’t be tempted by your colleagues or clients.
Be deliberate with your order
Choose dishes with vegetables, wild seafood, healthy fats like olives, avocados, nuts and seeds. Look for lean, well sourced proteins like lamb, turkey, grass-fed beef, wild seafood and pasture raised chicken.
Often entrée salads provide lots of vegetables, along with protein from grilled chicken, seafood as well as beans for fiber and other nutrients. Always ask for dressing on the side so you can control your portion. Often just dipping your fork in the dressing before each bite is enough to give you the taste without all the empty calories.
Choose as many vegetables as possible for sandwich toppings – lettuce, tomato, avocado and onions. For condiments, spicy mustard, relish or salsa are your best bets.
If nothing on the menu looks ‘healthy’ – check out the list of sides. Often you can get grilled vegetables, a side salad or baked potato – which is a healthier meal than the crispy chicken Caesar salad with croutons! Add some protein to your baked potato with some chili and cheddar cheese.
Portion sizes in restaurants can be twice or even 3 sizes bigger than what you would eat at home. Ask for a half portion or choose two appetizers instead of an appetizer and main. If that’s not possible, ask the server to wrap half of the meal before it comes to your table, or split a main course with a colleague.
Check the Wording
The way a dish is described on a menu can give you clues to how it’s prepared. Look for words including “grilled,” “broiled” or “steamed,” meaning the food is cooked with less fat, and avoid dishes with descriptions such as “fried,” “breaded,” “smothered,” “alfredo,” “rich” and “creamy.”
Ask, Ask, Ask
Don’t be afraid to ask your server to make changes. For example, ask for a salad in place of the fries or chips with a meal. Ask for items to be prepared with less oil or cheese and ask for the dressing or sauce on the side. If you don’t want bread, move it to the opposite side of the table or ask that it’s removed.
You can even often order “off-menu” — for example, ask what vegetarian dish the chef can prepare for you or if it’s possible to make grilled chicken and steamed vegetables. Many restaurants are happy to comply.
If you dine out a lot for business, it doesn’t have to mean unhealthy choices or weight gain. With some preparation and savvy substitutions, you can order meals that aren’t laden with calories that will go straight to your waistline!