Here’s a situation we’ve all encountered: it’s Saturday night, and a friend calls and wants to get together for dinner at your favorite restaurant. You’d love to, but you’re on Phase 1 (or 2, or whichever) of Ideal Protein and you’re worried about the temptation. What do you do? Well the good news is, as long as you maintain a little discipline, you can go just about anywhere, have a great dinner, and still stick to your diet.
Eating Out on Ideal Protein
Don’t be afraid to modify your meal – the menu says chicken breast with teriyaki glaze, rice, and corn, but you just want some lean protein and greens. So tell them that! Don’t be afraid to ask for no glaze and maybe some unbuttered broccoli or a fresh salad on the side. All but the hoity-toitiest of restaurants should be happy to make these changes, no questions asked.
Choose the right foods – if your favorite meal is pizza or a burger and fries, we can’t help you there (or can we?). You can, however, have some great tasting meals that fall perfectly in line with your diet. Some of our favorite IP-approved restaurant meals include:
- 6oz filet mignon with steamed broccoli (hold the butter) with a wild greens salad topped with lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt, and cracked pepper
- Baked tilapia with a side Caesar salad—just make sure you swap out the croutons and cheese for some White Cheddar Ridges!
- 1/3 lb hamburger (yes, we said it!). Eat this one with no bun and top it with mustard, extra lettuce, pickles and red onion, and enjoy a salad dressed with olive oil, vinegar, and salt on the side.
Don’t be afraid to send something back – remember, this is YOUR diet—you’re in control, and you’ve got to stand up for it! If a server gets something wrong on your order, politely ask them to take it back to the kitchen and correct it. 9 times out of 10 they won’t mind (again, politeness is key—and don’t forget to tip!) and you’ll feel good knowing you’re staying strong and committed to your goals.
Salads, salads, salads – your grandfather may have called them “rabbit food,” but when you’re on Ideal Protein, salads will become your best friend. Try to find one that helps you stick close to your goals, and like we said above, don’t be afraid to modify! Your best bet? Check out some of the delicious create-your-own salad places in the area—you’re sure to find something you love that will make you happy to stick to your diet.
But be careful of salad dressings – salads may be your best friends, but salad dressings can easily become your worst enemies. Most are loaded with sugar and bad fats that can take you out of ketosis and wreak havoc on your diet. If you’re looking for something to drizzle on top of your salad, here’s a list of options ranging from best to worst:
- Lemons wedges, olive oil, and sea salt
- Our pre-approved salad dressings
- Olive oil and vinegar (be sure to stick to apple cider or rice vinegar and stay away from red wine or balsamic!)
- Bleu cheese or Caesar
- Other dressings
If you’re planning a big outing and you want to make sure you’ll be able to enjoy yourself, you can always call! We want you to have fun and are always happy to make suggestions about what you should and shouldn’t eat so you can stay on track.