Now that I’m in my 15th week of my Nutrisystem plan (where did time go?), I’m frequently asked how I handle those food temptations that could derail my efforts, and what I do when I go out to dinner. Just because I’m on Nutrisystem—my life isn’t over! I definitely have to make smarter choices, and believe me, it’s hard at first. And to be perfectly honest—it gets easier by the week.
Dining out was something I wouldn’t even consider during my initial 4-6 weeks on the plan. I considered those my “training wheels”. My tummy was still getting acquainted with smaller portions and regulated meal times. But like any human being, I like to go out and enjoy a meal with my husband, and it’s definitely in moderation. Sometimes it’s one night a week, sometimes it’s once every two weeks—just because we both know how important this is to me. But some mindful planning goes into where we go.
Some things to consider when deciding on a dining establishment:
- Do they have a “light” menu? (Easy, better-for-you choices!)
- Are the calories listed on the menu? (It’s the law here in California.)
- Do they serve family style? (It may be wise to steer clear of those settings, it’s harder for portion control.)
I’ve come to realize, that at most of the major restaurants here locally, I actually prefer to eat off of the lighter portions menu! Cheesecake Factory for one, has a great “Skinnylicious” menu that I always enjoy eating from. Take a look on a few websites for the restaurants you’re interested in, and decide what you want to have before you even get in the car and go. Believe me, it takes a lot of anxiety out of the equation. And for once, I can actually eat at Cheesecake Factory without wanting a piece of cheesecake for dessert, I swear! For my entrees, I tend to stay away from things with heavy sauces, that are fried, or just aren’t “fresh”. If it’s grilled or broiled—even better!
Bread has always been a huge temptation for me, now I just ask that they don’t bring it to the table—and I don’t miss it! Also, keep in mind of the correct serving sizes. If my entree plate arrives, and the protein (like a chicken breast) is larger than the palm of my hand, and the carbohydrates are larger than my closed fist, I immediately ask for a to-go box and pack it up for my husband. It’s off my plate, I don’t see it, and it’s not even an option for me to over-indulge. I’ve also been known to take my own salad dressing with me if I know that the restaurant doesn’t have a light version of something that I like. Tupperware has cute little cups for this, or I take some of the packages of salad dressing I bought from Nutrisystem in my purse.
It’s not easy to start doing these things, and you’ll have to find the ways that work best for you—but I can honestly say that after 14 weeks—this is working for me, and I’m building habits I will carry with me long after my Nutrisystem journey is complete.
Now, for the exciting stuff! For this week’s weigh-in, I lost 1.5 pounds, for a total of 31 pounds in 14 weeks. That’s also 4.5 points off of my BMI! Next week will be time for new measurements, too. So I’ll see you back here next week for another update.
See last week’s Nutrisystem update here.
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