No one wants to look like a total freak when dining out with their friends, or worse yet, have to decline dinner invites. This was an issue that I was pretty worried about when I first sat in that room listening to the OFM presentation. As I mentioned in my first blog, I decided to take all these die-hard OFM teachers to my favorite restaurant for dinner and see what they ate. Clearly, I was not totally appalled as I started my new ORM life that day! For the past three months I have been living out of a hotel as I traveled for work (and a little pleasure, reference my last blog) so I have eaten nearly every meal in a restaurant. Here are a few tips to get you through your first OFM restaurant experiences.
Step 1) Do your research
Yesterday I had some free time and wanted to branch out from the very small town I have been in for the past month. So I got on the internet to see what interesting places to eat there were around me that might work well with OFM. If you are within driving distance of Amarillo, TX and type in steak in Google...this is what comes up.
We will get to more of that later. But, as a more normal example, I pulled up the menu for Chili's, which is a very common restaurant in a lot of the country, and picked out some menu items. Here are the items I identified before even leaving my hotel room, along with fat/carbs/protein grams.
Smoked Wing (no sauce) 31/14/55
Blue Cheese Dressing 29/1/1
Avocado Ranch 14/3/1
Cheddar Bites 68/13/24
Craft Beer Ribs 1/2 Rack 28/16/38
Steak Fajitas (no tortillas) 66/32/29
Extra Sour Cream 6/2/1
Real Butter=fatty goodness
These are not the only menu items that fit, and I probably wouldn't eat these all in one sitting (normally), but that gives me a good idea of what you might order before you even walk in the door. Or if you go to The Big Texan, it's pretty obvious that you should eat the 72oz steak.
Step 2) Don't make your order or diet a big deal
You already have a pretty good idea what you are going to order before you arrive and you have studied the menu quickly to see which one of those options looks good or if there is something you would rather have. Not sure how many carbs something has? Google it. If you type in "carbs in XXX" you will usually get the result on the first page.
Then when your server arrives you are ready to order that bacon cheese burger, no bun, add avocado, salad instead of fries, with a side of sour cream. If you are clear, confident, and don't ask a million questions, odds are your friends will hardly even notice. Or just hang out with vegan, gluten free, friends with nut allergies and you will be super normal!
Let's face it, there are some places this is easier than others. Italian restaurants can be tough, but if you have done your homework and don't make a big deal ordering it is not problem. It also becomes a problem when they put you on stage, by yourself, just because you want to have a small, OFM dinner.
Now you are all set to go dine out like a normal person. Just follow the 3 easy steps.
1) Do your research
2) Don't make your order or diet a big deal
3) Don't be afraid to leave those carbs untouched
Step 3) Don't be afraid to leave those carbs untouched
Even though you were totally prepared and ordered so clearly anyone could have understood, your burger still arrived with a bun and they forgot your sour cream. No problem, you are a professional. Just carefully remove that burger from the bun, making sure that you don't let any cheese get away and set the bun aside. Quietly re-request your side of sour cream and they will probably bring you extra since they forgot. Ideally your friends have a fat phobia and they give you all their fatty items they don't want with their giant dish of pasta and bread because they are 'eating healthy'.
I grew up cleaning my plate at every meal. And fortunately or unfortunately that has stuck with me through life. But I am learning to stop eating when I am full and not to be ashamed to leave those carbs untouched.