How to Dine Out & Not Fill Out

I started to write this post while I was waiting to board my flight home to Chicago, but never got around to posting it because I was pretty shambly. In hindsight, it was a funny sitch so I’ll still share this lil story with you guys before diving into my dining out tips…

I’m currently sitting at the “Tacquila” restaurant in the Newark airport and I am in SHAMBLES…

Last night, I grabbed dinner with the two older bros at a steak/ sushi restaurant. My oldest brother, Alex, lives in NYC and my other brother, Evan, was visiting from Philly, so we were ready to have a GD night! I got the BEST yellow fish sashimi and ate SO MUCH ginger. The waiter kept refilling my little ginger dish. ( the PLUG. ) Anyone else love ginger?

After inhaling sashimi & an aggressive amount of ginger, the boys and I went back to Alex’s apartment to pregame for our big night out. I took a lil detour and picked up some green apple smirnoff Ices to ice my brothers. I mean… did Evan even visit if I didn’t Ice him???

I just really like to keep my older bros on their toes. And I thought, why not mix it up with a green apple smirnoff ice?? So fun – RIGHT?!

We pregamed hard, iced harder, and were ready to hit the bars.

It was SO FUN. So fun that we lost track of time and stayed out until 3 AM.

Note to self : don’t go out the night before a flight.

I had to check out of my dorm at 10:15AM and I woke up around 9:00. I still had to stuff about half of my closet into my rose gold suitcases. All my crap DEF shouldn’t have fit, but with some miracle, I managed to stuff everything into my three suitcases. It only took me sitting/ jumping on my suitcases and overstuffing my packing cubes.

Side note: packing cubes are a GAME CHANGER when it comes to traveling. 10/10 would recommend. It saves me SO MUCH time when packing & unpacking, keeps my clothes organized, and saves space in my suitcase and I need all the space I can get!! I use THESE and absolutely love them !! In pink of course 😉 

When I was literally jumping on my suitcase wishing I were 30 lbs heavier ( prolly the only time I ever will say that ), I got a text from United Airlines saying that my flight got cancelled.


I mean, I wouldn’t mind staying in NYC for a bit longer if it weren’t for my checkout time !!

My mom came to the rescue and booked me another flight. Instead of ubering to LaGuardia, I had to uber all the way to Newark in New Jersey.

Once I got to Newark, my flight got delayed. And then again, and again. Oh, and again!

Since I have a little extra time, I’m able to grab lunch and write this post. Per usual, I’m micromanaging the waitress with my high maintenance order. I love to treat myself with a meal out, but I’m not about splurging and getting off track with my diet. Especially in NYC when I would go out to eat SO MUCH MORE than at school or at home, my waistline just can’t deal with a ridiculously large, high cal dish.

During my internship at F-Factor, I learned a few tips that helped me stay on track when dining out and I’ve been implementing these tips all summer. As an intern, I would highlight menus with F-Factor approved items from the clients’ favorite restaurants.

Most restaurants serve 2-3x more than the healthy portion size recommended by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, so I just HAVE to share these tips with you guys because these tips help keep you in a healthy calorie range when dining out and helps you pack in more nutrition.

PLAN AHEAD : You’re more likely to make sensible and informed decisions if you plan ahead! Check out the restaurant’s online menu for healthy options before going to the restaurant

SPOIL YOUR APPETITE : Snack on a high fiber/protein snack like GG pizza or GG cracker with turkey and laughing cow to avoid getting ravenous with the bread basket

REMOVE TEMPTATIONIf you can’t control yourself around the bread basket, put the bread basket out of reach or ask the waiter to remove the basket

DRESSING AND SAUCES ON THE SIDE : Always, always, ALWAYS ask for dressing and sauces on the side. Like, ALWAYS !! Then dip your fork into the dressing or sauce and then into the salad. I’ve done a ridic amount of dietary analyses this summer. During a dietary analysis, I would put in every single thing a F-Factor client would eat, including the little things like a teaspoon of PB or a little dressing. We would look over the dietary analysis and the one thing that always shocked me was how quickly the dressing calories added up! Most salad dressings are oil based and have over 100 calories per tablespoon and 10 grams of fat. IN ONE TABLESPOON. Let’s be honest, no restaurant adds just one tablespoon of dressing to a salad. If you ask for it on the side, you can reduce your calorie consumption by a few hundred calories!!

SUSHI : My personal fave type of food – was it obvi with my sashimi and ginger?? Sushi can be healthy – you just have to be careful with what you’re ordering. At F-Factor, we recommend ordering sushi “Naruto style” ( a sushi roll wrapped in cucumber instead of rice ).Most restaurants don’t list “naruto rolls” on the menu, but will accommodate per request. Another option is  hand roll with no rice or sashimi ( personal FAVE ). A typical sushi roll is prepped with one cup of rice which is three servings of carbs and 240 cals. Also should note that this is before adding fish, veggies, and sauce! 

START W/ A SALAD OR SOUP : This is an old trick, but prolly the best! Starting with a broth-based soup or salad helps prevent overeating later. Stretch receptors in our stomach tells us that the bulk ( ie. salad or soup ) of the food that we ate is sufficient. When the stomach fills up, the receptors send a signal to the brain and tell the brain that the stomach is full. Starting off with a soup or salad allows you to signal those receptors so you will become full quicker!

VEGGIE ORDER : Stick to non-starchy veggies ( ex. carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, asparagus, peppers ). Aim for steamed veggies – veggies are often brushed with oil before grilling, which is fine, but that brushing is usually very generous and adds hundreds of extra calories to just your vegetables!

EAT HALF : Portion sizes are absolutely out of control. 12 ounce steak?? I have the steak sweats just thinking of that… !! On F-Factor, women eat 3-4 ounces of lean protein and men eat around 6 ounces for a meal. However, restaurants serve an unnecessary amount of protein. High protein intake may promote renal damage when eaten in excess. We recommend eating half and taking half home ( who doesn’t LOVE leftovers !! ) or splitting a dish with someone else ( AND WHO DOESN’T LOVE SAVING $?! )

PROTEIN PREP : Look out for words like “grilled”, “poached”, or “roasted” and avoid “breaded” or “fried”! If you want a dish that may be breaded or fried, ask your waiter to accommodate!! It’s all about micromanaging! 😉

THREE BITE RULE : MMK MMK we’ve all been there… When you just can’t resist a dessert! I mean, sometimes I just NEED a bite of tiramisu… or three. Studies show that the first and the last bite are the most satisfying bites. To have a first and a last bite, you need a middle!

I hope you all enjoy these tips I learned at F-Factor !! If there is one nutrition private practice that can dine out like a BOSS, it is a private practice based in Manhattan… ie. F-Factor ;).

If you have any more questions about these tips, comment below or feel free to ask me via Instagram!



P.S. I ALMOST FORGOT!! Wine and sugar free cocktails are F-Factor approved !! I am guilty of pairing my sashimi with rosé… or should I say not guilty 😉

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