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Old 06-13-2013, 01:46 PM   #1
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Eating Out

I have been low carbing for a whopping 9 days (and I feel terrific btw). Today, I had lunch with my daughter and husband (naturally thin people) at Red Lobster. I said no to the biscuits (yay me) and was thinking in a FISH restaurant it would be easy to eat low carb. Boy was I wrong. Everything was breaded, smothered with sauce or served on a bed of rice - I have never noticed this before. WTH? Anyway, I got the blackened catfish (yum) with their roasted veggies (which they put no love into - very blah). Any restaurant tips from veteran low carbers out there?
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Old 06-13-2013, 02:06 PM   #2
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I've never had any problem finding things that fit my style of eating. You may have to ask some questions and see if they can do things that aren't specifically stated on the menu, but I've always found it easy to substitute vegetables or a side salad for the starchy sides. If you aren't sure about a sauce, just ask for no sauce and have your fish (or whatever) plain-broiled or grilled. Be assertive.

Really, it should be no problem. But this is America, when "breaded/fried" is a major food group and everything is smothered in gross cheap cheese and sweet mystery sauces, so you have to speak up.
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Old 06-13-2013, 02:08 PM   #3
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I eat out all the time (in fact, I own a restaurant). When I eat out places other than my own I:

I always ask how something is prepared if the menu is not clear.

Tell them "no croutons" on the salads because they often come with them.

At Mexican restaurants, we just say no thank you to the basket of chips, and I ask for salad instead of rice and beans with my carne asada

If they bring a bread basket, just say no thank you before they set it on the table.

Ask to sub more vegetables if a dish comes with vegetables and a starch (like potato or rice)

I do these things all the time and I've still managed to lose quite a bit since my re-start in January. I'll probably think of more things but it is so second nature to me now
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Old 06-13-2013, 02:19 PM   #4
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I eat out fairly frequently as well. It's not hard, once you get used to it. Grilled or roasted meats are my go to. Ask to sub extra veggies for any starch that comes with.

Bunless burgers are almost always great.

Omelets are good, but always ask for fresh eggs (some restaurants add pancake batter to their omelet mixes).

There's almost no kind of restaurant where I can't get a good on plan meal. Indian, Mexican, Japanese, American diner, French, Italian, I eat it all.

I had Vietnamese last week: beef lemongrass skewers and pho without noodles. It was delicious, and I was very satisfied.

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Old 06-13-2013, 02:19 PM   #5
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Shrimp scampi is a seafood favorite of mine...
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Old 06-13-2013, 02:52 PM   #6
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I am the same as ntombi. I usually order the steak. I am always careful about ordering eggs, that no milk or anything is added.
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Old 06-13-2013, 02:58 PM   #7
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Red lobster is one of my favorite restaurants but not on LC. Their veggies need too much help. Lol
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:01 PM   #8
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I am recently back on the wagon again. I have gone out to eat three times so far. Each time, I was able to order a chicken cesear salad. I do ask them not to put the croutons on. It's always satisfying and I lost 4 pounds my first week after 2 of the meals!
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:06 PM   #9
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Thanks for the encouragement and the ideas. I know I will get used to it with time
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Old 06-13-2013, 05:47 PM   #10
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Cracker Barrel has a low carb menu.You can most likely not go wrong ordering a plain steak,salad and steamed broccoli.I get extra dressing on the side for the veggies to dip them in OR asked for loaded broccoli,like a baked potato.You can order this at most any steak house or casual sit down resturant.
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:26 PM   #11
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I'm just impressed that you were able to say no to this biscuits! Those kill me! And I think they must be truly horrible for you. Gah!
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:42 PM   #12
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If you go to a place that generally plops a baked potato on your dinner plate,
you can ask to skip that BUT have broccoli, or mixed LC veggies, with all the
toppings that are generally used on the loaded potato. It's GOOD!
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:50 PM   #13
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What is so frustrating to me, is that I can find options available.... but they don't taste GOOD! Their steamed veggies are never cooked right. Its no wonder so many Americans don't like veggies when restaurants put no effort into properly cooking and seasoning vegetables. In expensive restaurants (like a fancy steakhouse) its not such a problem, but most average restaurants in my price range could not prepare a decent tasting veggie to save their life!
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:09 PM   #14
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Say to the server, "What meat or fish can I get that is not cooked in sauce or
served with sauce, just plain? The same for veggies. If they don't have a veggie
that will work for you ask for more salad as your veggie. Order salad, no croutons,
and with vingar and oil. Other dressing may have sugar. If the person with you is
OK with it tell them no bread. If that's not possible ask your friends to keep the
bread basket across the table from were you are sitting. If they order desert have
a coffee with cream if you lighten your coffee. If you have made your order clear
and it comes with what you asked not to have send it back. Now go out for a meal.
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taramichelle View Post
I have been low carbing for a whopping 9 days (and I feel terrific btw). Today, I had lunch with my daughter and husband (naturally thin people) at Red Lobster. I said no to the biscuits (yay me) and was thinking in a FISH restaurant it would be easy to eat low carb. Boy was I wrong. Everything was breaded, smothered with sauce or served on a bed of rice - I have never noticed this before. WTH? Anyway, I got the blackened catfish (yum) with their roasted veggies (which they put no love into - very blah). Any restaurant tips from veteran low carbers out there?
Hi

Alot of those chains serve low grade food and as you said, show no love to veggies(no butter and spices or oils). You did a great job by subbing out the carbs and adding veggies or salads, thats exactly what I do.

I lost 200 lbs about 13 years ago and eating out has never been a problem for me, its all about the choices we freely make that result in what we are or will be in the future. Keep it up!

Good Luck!

-Dave
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:41 AM   #16
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At the start of the meal be prepared to save half of your food for later (unless you are at an upscale restaurant with fancy foods in tiny portions).

The portions in most restaurants are soooo huge and I guess meant to make/keep us overweight. The problem is that you tend to keep eating because other people are eating and you end up eating more than you would at home. So what I do is when I get my food I divide up my meal in half either physically (by cutting it or moving it on my plate) or mentally (picking a point on a piece of meat and knowing that I will stop when I get there). Eating slowly and stopping also works because your brain will register that you are full.
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:57 AM   #17
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I tend to stick to the same resteraunts, Swiss Chalet and Red Lobster. I splurge at red lobster and get surf and turf with a salad. I also get escargot, I am sure they are some carbs from thickening agents but I am okay with that. Swiss Chalet I always get the half chicken dinner with a ceaser and I DO dip but again I am okay with that. Today I took my daughter to Dairy Queen and she got fries and a Sunday and I got a combo but asked for extra lettuce on the top and bottom instead of the bun, I got a side salad instead of fries. This was my first time ever asking for a lettuce "bun" but the lady said it actually wasnt a strange request because she had someone the previous day order a bunless burger. It was a really nice treat since I dont tackle fast food often! Another treat for me is at a convenience store that sells slushi's some offer a Crystal light slushi!
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Old 06-14-2013, 01:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadiangirl View Post
I tend to stick to the same resteraunts, Swiss Chalet and Red Lobster. I splurge at red lobster and get surf and turf with a salad. I also get escargot, I am sure they are some carbs from thickening agents but I am okay with that. Swiss Chalet I always get the half chicken dinner with a ceaser and I DO dip but again I am okay with that. Today I took my daughter to Dairy Queen and she got fries and a Sunday and I got a combo but asked for extra lettuce on the top and bottom instead of the bun, I got a side salad instead of fries. This was my first time ever asking for a lettuce "bun" but the lady said it actually wasnt a strange request because she had someone the previous day order a bunless burger. It was a really nice treat since I dont tackle fast food often! Another treat for me is at a convenience store that sells slushi's some offer a Crystal light slushi!
Yep, same here.....lobster and steak, salad and steamed broccoli. Also, shrimp scampi and crab are a fave.

Last edited by rndiane; 06-14-2013 at 01:25 PM..
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Old 06-14-2013, 01:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded62 View Post
Cracker Barrel has a low carb menu.You can most likely not go wrong ordering a plain steak,salad and steamed broccoli.I get extra dressing on the side for the veggies to dip them in OR asked for loaded broccoli,like a baked potato.You can order this at most any steak house or casual sit down resturant.
I love Cracker Barrel but they need to make my portions larger!

Last edited by LJB; 06-14-2013 at 01:41 PM..
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Old 06-14-2013, 02:32 PM   #20
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I almost always get a cobb salad with chicken, hamburger no bun or steak. If possible it involves bleu cheese and bacon
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:46 PM   #21
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Always a good idea to check the menu online before you go so you know in advance what you will order.

We eat out very rarely, but we've been in Southern California twice this year (!) and my kids wanted to eat at the Cheesecake factory. Expensive but the portions are HUGE and they encourage sharing so it's not as bad as you might think. The food is really, really good for a chain. They have a ton of stuff that's OK, plus LOW CARB cheese cake on the menu. It's AWESOME! Not really induction friendly, but for an indulgence it's great, and you don't have to eat it all at one sitting.

Some fast food restaurants have "hidden" menus that have low carb options. In N Out has "protein style" which means without the bun, and Panera has bowls with meat and veggies which are really good. Subway will serve any sandwich fillings in a bowl, but we ate there on our long drive and it was pretty salty and flat tasting. I don't need to do that again.

The key to eating out is planning ahead.
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:49 PM   #22
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There are lots of low carb options at Red Lobster. I always got (when I was still LC) crab legs with melted butter, broccoli, salad with no croutons. Fantastic meal! I'd also ask for extra butter for the broccoli.
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:00 PM   #23
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I've always wondered why Red Lobster's "100% melted butter" has 2 carbs per 1.5 oz
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:01 PM   #24
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I love Logan's Steakhouse. I always get the wood fire grilled salmon - it comes with this fantastic butter dill sauce - with ceasar salad sans croutons and broccoli. Their broccoli seasoning is to die for. Wish I knew the recipe.
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