Morning Bright Lifers!
I wanted to write this post to help anyone who feels overwhelmed when thinking about eating out while on the weight-loss plan. In this post, I’ll share my favorite places to eat and exactly what I like to get when I go, as well as general tips for eating out.
I didn’t eat out until I had been following Bright Line Eating for a month, and I recommend doing the same. It was a bit overwhelming, and I had to trust that I could be honest with myself when eyeing my portions. That being said, eating out is a treat, and sometimes they put bacon bits on salads, so that’s the one time I allow myself bacon. If you’re uncomfortable with that, it’s always easy to personalize a salad!
My favorite places to eat out are Ted’s Montana Grill, Taco Mac, Zoës Kitchen, Chipotle, House of Hummus Mediterranean Cafe, and really any Mexican restaurant. My go-to meals for each are:
Ted’s Montana Grill: Big Sky Grilled Salad without croutons- for my protein, I get shrimp (its not listed, but they’ll do it for you)
**Tip: It’s hard to know when eating out whether or not your dressing has sugar as one of the first 3 ingredients. I try to determine the best option, but I also don’t pour my dressing on my salad, so I don’t fret too much. Instead, I dip my fork in the dressing and then take a bite. This way, you use more than half as much dressing, and it tastes just as good!
Taco Mac: I ate here for lunch and got their Skillet Salmon with chili mango seasoning. For my sides, I got fresh broccoli and roasted whole mushrooms. Yum!
Zoës Kitchen: My go-to meal here has always been the steak kabobs! They taste so sweet, and I asked what they were cooked it to be sure it was Bright Line approved, and it is! On the side, I get roasted veggies and a Greek salad.
Chipotle: I get a salad with a little pinto beans, roasted veggies, carnitas, pico de gallo, lettuce, and guacamole. Chipotle is usually really good at respecting the portion size you want of things, so don’t be afraid to say “a little” or “a lot” before the things you want in your bowl.
House of Hummus: This is a local restaurant in Alpharetta, GA. I really love Mediterranean food because it’s so healthy and I trust that everything is made fresh. Here, I get The Salad (minus the olives because I don’t like olives) with chicken shawarama as my protein and the cucumber-tomato salad as my side. Be sure to ask for the dressing on the side with the cucumber-tomato salad because I don’t think it’s Bright Line approved. I typically dump the cucumber tomato salad into my big salad and use tzatziki, which comes on the side, as the dressing. Tzatziki is greek yogurt based, so it is just counted as a protein. Because of this, I usually remove some of the chicken off of my salad. The chicken is cooked in tahini, which is a fat, so this meal is a complete Bright Line dinner!
Mexican restaurants: It’s super easy to eat at any Mexican restaurant because they all have fajitas! I usually get the steak because fajita steak is awesome, and I always ask for them to sub my rice on the side with extra veggies instead. I also tell them that I don’t need the tortillas because just the smell of them would probably drive me crazy. Another thing I choose to do is refuse chips right off the bat. They’ll probably look at you like you’re crazy and you may even get offered chips 3 times, but it’s worth it to me to not have that temptation in front of me. Obviously, this is only possible if you’re eating with a fellow Bright Lifer, so you may have to watch your friend eat them… another reason why I recommend waiting a month to eat out!
**Tip: If I know I’ll be eating lunch out, I always pack my fruit because a lot of restaurants don’t have fruit as a side!
Next up, I really want to try poke! It’s a popular Hawaiian dish that I’ve seen a lot of recently, but haven’t had the chance to try yet! If you have any recommendations on where to get the best poke, let me know!
I hope this post is helpful when you finally decide to eat out on Bright Line. It’s nice to not have to cook or clean all of the time, so have fun and enjoy yourself. You deserve it!