Special Order with a Smile

7 May
Sally special orders her food

In “When Harry Met Sally,” Sally special orders everything to suit her personal tastes without any hesitation when making the requests.

When you’re dieting, it can be tough to have fun going out with friends who aren’t dieting. Instead of staring at a restaurant menu feeling guilty, get creative. If you’re polite and kind, pretty much any restaurant will let you special order something to suit your needs. (Check out this great scene from “When Harry Met Sally” when Harry first hears how Sally special orders everything. Love it!) Here are some ideas to help you special order when you’re out so that you can keep losing weight:

  • Order a combination of small items from the appetizer and side dish sections of the menu. For example, you can get an appetizer of shrimp or small pieces of chicken and combine that with a small side of a favorite veggie. This way, you’re not getting the huge entree-size portion and you’re only eating one side dish instead of also having a roll, soup, potato with butter, etc.
  • If it’s a burger-and-fries joint, figure out how you can incorporate more veggies and less bread or fried food. Several fast food restaurants offer low-carb options (get your burger in a bowl or wrapped in lettuce instead of on a bun). Or, order the smallest burger with a side salad instead of a large burger with fries. If you really hate veggies and salads, choose a grilled chicken or fish option over beef and get it without the cheese.
  • Here’s an example from today: My husband has the day off and doesn’t want leftovers for lunch, so he suggested getting sandwiches from a Philly cheese steak place we love near our apartment. In the past, I’d order my favorite 9″ tomato cheese steak, no peppers, with fries. But I knew I could make a healthier choice than that, especially since I’m feeling good about my recent minor weight loss progress and I want to keep losing weight. It’s a hoagie place but they have one burrito on the menu: beef or chicken, three kinds of peppers, sour cream…all stuff I don’t like (except for the meat, of course). But I know that they have tons of other ingredients, so in my sweetest voice I asked if I could special order a burrito. No problem. One chicken burrito with tomato salsa, avocado, and light cheese coming up. Yum! Fewer carbs, none of the stuff I don’t like, no fried food, all good.

Don’t be afraid to ask for substitutions or changes to items on a menu when you’re trying to diet. Most people are trying to lose weight and understand. And most restaurants are kind enough to make new combinations of items that they already have. Don’t feel obligated to eat what others are eating if you’re out with them. Look for creative ways to incorporate more fruit and veggies and less bread and grease. You’ll be more than satisfied with the short term pleasure and the long term results. Good luck!

–Michelle

PS: Don’t forget to drink lots of water all the time! :)

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