What Is Your Favorite Restaurant?

I love to eat out.  When I started WW I was single and living on my own.  I ate out a lot and rarely cooked at home.  I continued to eat out on the WW program but started to branch out to different restaurants and try different foods on the menus.

Kenyon and I don’t eat out as much as we used to mostly because of cost.  However, I still enjoy it.  I prefer sit down restaurants and rarely go to a fast food place.  I will only hit up fast food-type places during a lunch break if I haven’t planned meals/leftovers for the week.  I find the service at fast food places is below par.

We were asked to bring a menu from our favorite restaurant to our next meeting.  That is a tough one for me as I LOVE to eat out.  Since we have cut back on our eating out it almost makes it more of a treat.  Plus, I just get bored with the same ‘ol foods and even my leftovers so eating out is more appealing.

I am the Queen of Special Orders so there isn’t a restaurant that I can’t tackle.  There might be some healthier options at one vs. the other but overall any type of restaurant is manageable.  I love a good salad bar but when I eat out I don’t go for just an entrée salad either.  I would rather spend my money on some actual food.

Here are some places we go to often that are really easy for me to navigate my WW plan.

You can’t go wrong with a place that serves soup and salad!  There are also other tempting foods such as pizza, breadsticks (amazing melt-in-your-mouth), taco/nacho stuff, baked potatoes, and fresh baked breads.  SouperSalad lists all its NI online and most are in the WW Eating Out Guide, on eTools, and the WW mobile app.  Their soups are very low in PPVs and you can ALWAYS get clam chowder on Fridays.  It is one of my favorite soups!  As with any salad bar I go for the 0 PPV veggies with dressing on the side.  SouperSalad lacks a really good protein option though so I am usually hungry not too long after.  The ice cream is also very good and very reaonable in PPVs.  If you have a Sweet Tomatoes in your area, it is very similar.

I LIVE for the $9.99 steak and salad bar coupons that come in the mail.  We have been lucky enough to get them monthly.  We also use their dining card to earn points for a $25 gift certificate.  We have earned many.  Sizzler is a safe place for me because the salad bar is always fresh and I don’t have any problem passing up the tempting items that aren’t power foods and/or 0 PPVs.  I have my basic salad bar toppings I like and try to pile on the 0 PPVs veggies, add some pineapple, beans, and dressing on the side.  Since I always have steak, which is my protein source so I just mostly get veggies.  I also get the brocolli as my side item.  Occasionally I will have the potato with sour cream and butter on the side.  The NI for Sizzler is online.  Just Google it.
We also eat here a lot.  Kenyon likes chicken fried steak and they have a good one.  Plus, how can you beat the home-style sides offered?  YUM!  The good news about Cracker Barrel is that the WW app and eTools has PPVs already figured up for you.  If we are going for lunch or dinner my go-to is usually the beef stew.  It comes with two sides.  I will usually get cooked carrots and either cabbage or green beans.  I used to get mashed potatoes without the gravy.  They have some good potatoes.  It all depends on how many PPVs I want to spend and what mood I am in when we go to dinner.  If we are there for breakfast I will sometimes have oatmeal, but really I can have that at home!  I really like their yogurt parfait but that is harder to count.  Most of the basic breakfast items are listed in eTools.  I usually have to make my mind up ahead of time if I am eating a biscuit or not.  All you have to do is plan and calculate the PPVs.  They also have the best coffee in town so that is one added reason why I love going there.

We also love Red Robin.  You will find a customizer on their website and also available as a cell phone app.  I LOVE the customizer.  You can customize all the way down to how much mayo is on the burger so if you only eat a small amount then you can factor in the PPVs.  It is really a handy tool!  My usual at Red Robin is the Whiskey BBQ Chicken Wrap.  I order my wrap without cheese and ranch on the inside and instead have my ranch on the side with a side salad in place of French fries.  That way I can add my own ranch as I wish instead of having the wrap dripping with unnecessary calories.  I eat half the wrap and then take the remaining half out of the tortilla and just eat it with my side salad.  I save a few PPVs that way.  I will often snag a few of Kenyon’s fries and have also a time or two been known to ask for 6 French fries on the side.  Be careful though, once they charged me extra!  I don’t have hamburgers very often so I do enjoy one from time to time at Red Robin.  They have some really good ones.  I have tried all sorts of special orders and/or plain burgers.  Honestly, the Whiskey BBQ Burger is really good as is.  It is a lot of PPVs so it might not seem like a good idea but once a year, the real thing is pretty good.
This is another popular breakfast spot for Kenyon and I as he also likes their chicken fried steak.  I really have not been to IHOP for many other meals because if I am going…I am having pancakes!  There is WW PPVs already factored up in eTools and the WW app.  I like the Slim and Fit 2x2, which is 2 pancakes, 2 pieces of turkey bacon, and egg beaters.  I love their strawberry syrup.  I rarely order anything else.

If I am eating fast food.
I always go for veggies as my side item, beef broccoli, and string bean chicken.  I get a side of brown sauce for my veggies.  I will occasionally get a small side of rice if I want to spend the extra PPVs.  Panda Express has all NI online.
I will go to Wendy’s when I want a salad.  They have a really good Chicken Cesar Salad and the Newman dressings are very low in PPVs.  I get my Cesar salad with grilled chicken and will sometimes get an additional side salad for added veggies.

Here are some places we go that might cost me slightly more in PPVs.
Pizza is always a food that costs you more in PPVs but to me is ALWAYS worth it.  I love pizza.  Idaho Pizza Company has an amazing salad bar.  I will often get a salad bar for lunch.  The hardest part can be resisting the breadsticks!  But, as with any food, if you plan it and count it then no food is off limits.  Idaho Pizza Company also does a really yummy buffet at lunch time.  It can be hard to control but again is totally worth it to me.

And my very favorite place….
Tucanos BrazilianGrill

Tucanos is super delicious but not very friendly on the wallet.  That doesn’t stop me from going at least once a month.  I just love it.  There are many temptations at Tucanos but I never stray from my usual plan.  I always tackle the salad bar for the 0 PPV veggies with dressing on the side.  I usually have two or three of the cheese dough ball rolls and then a selection of meats, pineapple, and veggies that the servers bring around on the skewers to the table.  I have a system where I only eat the meats I know I like (I have been there enough times) and I count each as 1 PPV.  I count the fish and sausage as 2 PPVs.  I count the rolls as 1 PPV each and I also count 1 PPVs for each of the servings of pineapple and veggies I take.  I usually leave on average eating 23 PPVs.  It is ALWAYS worth it to me.  I wouldn’t spend $21 per person if the food wasn’t worth it.

I honestly believe that any restaurant is doable when on the WW program.  I never planned on giving up eating out and I could not have been successful in my weight loss journey or my maintenance journey if I had stopped eating out.  With a little research ahead of time, planning, and special orders there isn’t anything that is off limits.  And, if all else fails, there is always a new meal or a new day on the horizon.  Food is meant to be enjoyed!

1 comment:

KC Dave said...

How did you know all of the places I enjoy on WW too. You inspired me to write a blog post about eating out and being on WW.