Healthy Eating Series-Eating Healthy During Client Dinners

This is Part 2 in the Healthy Eating Series for busy traveling professionals. If you missed Part 1: Healthy Eating on the Highway, get it here. This week’s focus is on eating well when you’re out with clients.

We all like good food, and we certainly don’t want to be seen as the picky eater at the table, so when we go out to eat we often order whatever looks best on the menu (and won’t make a mess while we’re trying to impress our dinner guests). Doing this once or twice a year is no big deal, but when you have multiple dinners a month like this, your body will thank you with a nice thick layer of extra padding.

How can anyone possibly avoid gaining weight (or even hope to lose a few pounds) when they’re always eating out? Follow these tips and you’ll soon find out for yourself!

  • Remember that most of the people at your table are likely in the same boat. If you want a salad, get it! I spent many years trying to avoid being seen as the picky eater. When I started paying attention to my dinner companions, I noticed that a lot people (both men and women) are watching–or want to watch–what they eat when they’re out. So as you follow the rest of the tips in this list, know that the rest of your group is happy to have a good example sitting next to them.
  • Skip the bread basket. I know you’re starving and really want that warm piece of bread, but I promise that eating it will just make you want another piece. Instead, drink a big glass of water and take a deep breath. You’ll have food in no time.
  • What about drinks? Your best options are water and unsweetened iced tea. If you’re going to drink alcohol, try to limit yourself to no more than two glasses of wine or alcohol mixed with soda (not Coke or 7-Up, but the fizzy calorie-free soda water).
  • If you’re not having a salad as your main entrée, at least start with one (and get the dressing on the side). Vegetables fill you up and are full of nutrients. If you really don’t want a salad, go for a broth-based soup. This will also fill you up… and hopefully have a few veggies in it too.
  • Salads always make a great entrée. Just make sure it’s mostly veggies and lean protein. You want to minimize cheese, croutons, dried fruit, and bacon. If a salad isn’t a salad to you without these items, pick just one of them.
  • Want something hot? Your best bets are grilled fish or roasted chicken with a side of grilled or steamed veggies. Stay away from cream sauces and sautéed dishes. They’re loaded with calories.
  • If you want dessert, go for some fresh fruit or sorbet.

If your mouth accidentally orders a huge steak with a side of cheesy mashed potatoes, drink some water between each bite and try to only eat half. We all slip up sometimes. If you eat well 80 percent of the time, the occasional indulgence isn’t a big deal.

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