Dining Out with Type 2 DiabetesDining out happens but there’s no reason to be intimated by it. I used to be so scared to eat out with the family, but, after learning a lot, I’m not anymore. Even with type 2 diabetes, I’ve found that I can still enjoy a nice meal out without wrecking it all.

The first couple of times we dined out, I went right to the chicken Caesar salad because it was low in carbs and calories. Last week, however, I branched out and ordered a dish with meat and veggies. The hardest part for me is ignoring the bread (it’s my favorite) but I’ve done it for 3 weeks now. You know, you’d think they’d offer different types of bread for weight conscious people, but I digress.

Dining out doesn’t have to something you avoid, whether you have diabetes or not. The one thing that truly helps me is the LoseIt app because it has restaurant foods, which makes it easier for me to pull up dishes from major chain restaurants and fast food joints.

I have a strategy for dining out now that I didn’t have before my diagnosis. I’ve learned how my plate should look thanks to the American Diabetes Association, and I keep this in mind when ordering. While the recommended plate setup is 1/4 plate starch, 1/4 plate meat, and 1/2 plate veggies, I use a variation while dining out. I order double veggies with the meat entree instead of a veggie and a starch. I don’t know what’s in the starch or how much comes with the meal so it’s much safer for me to order double veggies.

If I’m not ordering a salad as my entree, I’ll start with a salad as an appetizer. This is good for anyone who’s wanting to drop a few pounds because you’re not as likely to eat the entire entree. I’d much rather fill up on veggies than something heavy. I test my sugar first thing in the morning, so my dinner has to be on point at all times.

If you’re dining out for breakfast, I highly recommend staying away from sugar as much as possible. We went out to Denny’s a few days ago for breakfast and that caused me a great deal of anxiety. Breakfast contains many of my favorite foods, such as pancakes, french toast, eggs, sausage, scrapple, toast, and syrup. OMG – syrup! Anyway, at Denny’s, I ordered 2 egg white, 2 sausage links, and the blueberry wheat pancakes. It was roughly 500 calories, which is high for me, but I had all day to burn it off. I ate all of the eggs and sausage and half of the pancakes, and I measured my syrup so that I didn’t use as much. That was a big deal considering that my pancakes or french toast is usually drowning in syrup.

When dining out, I’m really strict about what I order for dinner but not so much for the other meals. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still concerned with the amount of calories, carbs, and sugar in each meal but dinner is the one that I worry about the most.

What it all comes down to is speaking up for yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want at restaurants so that you stay on track. You’d be amazed at how accommodating restaurants can be with customers. I used to be one of those people who didn’t want to make a fuss but not anymore.

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