A great way to make this a lifestyle and not a diet is to have a rule of thumb for every type of place you go to. Here is what I mean by that and here are some of ours!
Grilled turkey or chicken breast
Low calorie side like green beans, bbq beans or cole slaw.
Brisket, pulled pork and sausage only if planned for ahead of time due to high fat content and higher calorie content.
Grilled meat (Chicken breast and sirloin steak are usually the lowest calories)
Pair with a low calorie side like asparagus, broccoli, seasoned vegetables, a side salad without croutons with the dressing on the side. Potatoes of any kind are high calorie and can drive up your carbs super quick!
Salads can be a great option but can also be one of the highest calorie options on the menu! Look at the toppings and dressings. Cheese, avocado, pecans, dried cranberries, seeds and things like that can drive those calories up quick!
Mexican Food Restaurants
Chicken tacos or chicken fajitas with corn tortillas are my usual go to's. Eating the fajitas without the tortillas will save calories and carbs.
Be careful again with salads. Fajita salads can be great if you use salsa as your dressing, don't eat the taco it comes in, and if you get things like avocado and sour cream on the side so you can control how much goes in.
I get a regular burger or a grilled chicken sandwich but avoid the fries unless you log them before and can make them fit. Watch out for toppings, sauces, cheeses and things that drive the calories up. Log before you eat for sure!
Japanese Hibachi type places
Chicken and shrimp are the lowest calories options. The fried rice adds 100's of calories and tons of carbs. It's best to get double grilled veggies in place of the rice. Can be high calorie if sauces and butter are added so plan accordingly!
Breakfast houses like IHOP, Denny's, etc...
Scrambled eggs, egg whites, ham, bacon (regular or turkey) or omelets with lots of veggies and very little cheese are great, filling, low calorie options.
You may notice that there are several other types of places like Italian food, bar food and Chinese food. These places are usually really high calorie, almost all carbs and not very filling so it's really easy to overeat or be hungry and left wanting to snack afterward. These places have exceptions of course and can have healthier options but almost all need to be planned for or saved for a planned cheat day!
Have a great day everyone!