How to Stay in Control When Dining Out

August 5, 2015 at 1:31 pm Leave a comment

Sharing food with friends is an important part of feeling happy and healthy, but dining away from home poses special challenges to people with type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, having a good experience while dining out is just a matter of following a few simple practices. Here are five tips that will let you socially thrive while also staying in control of your diabetes.

1. Be Aware of Timing

Your medication schedule may require that you eat at certain times. Choosing restaurants that accept reservations is one great way to be sure you’ll be eating on-time. If, however, you choose more casual restaurants, try arriving during their less-crowded times when you might be able to get faster service. Delays can always arise, however, so always carry a healthy snack along.

2. Look at the Menu Ahead of Time

These days almost all restaurants have their menus posted online. Spend some time before the meal making plans for what you’ll order so that you can eliminate the stress of deciding on-the-spot. Or at least narrow down the menu to a few healthy choices and then ask questions about how it’s prepared when you speak with your waiter. Committing to a specific ordering plan will let you relax in the moment and enjoy the people you’re sharing the meal with.

3. Expect Understanding

Restaurant staff want their patrons to have a positive experience, and they will respect the fact that diabetes imposes certain restrictions on your diet. Don’t be shy about asking how the food is prepared or about the ingredients used. So feel free to ask whether that sauce has sugar in it, or whether you can have a salad instead of a bread basket, or whether your fish can be broiled with no added fat.

4. Watch Portion Sizes

If your favorite eating spot offers oversized portions, ask if they would box up half your meal for you to take home before they even serve you. That way, you don’t have to rely on your self-control to stop eating halfway through.

5. Create a Restaurant “Favorites” List

Although most restaurants want to cater to their customers’ needs, some offer better choices for diabetes patients than others. And some are more accommodating than others. Reward the restaurants that make your life easier: “Like” them on social media, publish good reviews about them on rating sites, and circulate their information to others in your network. This will increase the chances that they’ll meet your needs in the future, and will also give you a “go to” list for a predictably good experience.

Type 2 diabetes doesn’t have to change the way you socialize with friends. Once you establish a restaurant routine, you won’t feel like you’re compromising your enjoyment. Ordering low-sugar, healthy foods will become second nature and you’ll feel free to devote full attention to your friends’ fascinating stories.



Entry filed under: Diabetes, Diet/Nutrition, Health, Weight Management.

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