If you're trying to follow a low-calorie diet, hearing a friend suggest going out for breakfast may be enough to make you cringe. You picture piles of pancakes soaked in syrup, and cheesy omelets loaded with fatty sausage. But eating breakfast at a restaurant does not have to look like this! There are ways to enjoy yourself and enjoy your meal while still sticking to a lower-calorie plan. Here are a few ideas.
Start with a fruit salad.
Most breakfast restaurants will have some sort of fruit salad or fruit plate on the menu. This may just be a bowl of whatever seasonal fruit is available, or it may be something a bit more complex — like various fruits in a dressing of some sort. In either case, try to order the fruit plate or fruit salad to come before the rest or your meal, like an appetizer. This way, you can fill up on low-calorie fruit to help you avoid over-eating later on.
Consider ordering a kids' meal.
Not every restaurant will allow adults to order from the kids' menu, but some will. If the restaurant you're eating at does allow this, consider ordering a kids' meal. Often, the foods are the same as those you would order from the main menu, but the portions are smaller. Typically restaurant portions are so big, though, that even a kids' order will tend to be enough, especially if you pair the meal with a fruit salad as suggested above. Typical kids' breakfast meals are things like:
- 1 pancake, 1 egg, and a piece of sausage
- 2 eggs and 2 pieces of toast
- 1 small waffle and 3 strips of bacon
This should be enough to fill you up without blowing your calorie budget.
Go easy on the butter, jam, and syrup.
It's surprising how many calories just these three ingredients add to breakfast meals. A piece of toast, for instance, may have around 100 calories. Add a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of jam, and you'll double its calorie content — or more! Always ask for these items on the side, and add small amounts, if any. Some restaurants have sugar-free syrup and jam. These are good choices if you're on a low-calorie diet.
You don't have to forgo eating breakfast at a restaurant just because you're on a low-calorie diet! If you stick to the advice above, you should be able to eat within your calorie goals.