“What do I do when I have to eat out… and the menu is NOT part of my diet?”

Parties, business lunches, celebrations and luaus are often a fun part of life – except when you are trying to change your eating habits.  You find yourself working SO hard to stick to protocol, only to feel like it could all go out the window with one pau hana!   So what is a dieter to do?  Here are some situations you may find yourself in, and how to cope.


  1. Restaurants: Always look up the online menu beforehand so you have an idea of what type of offerings are there.  If there is no online menu, call ahead!  You can never prepare too much – it is just not worth being surprised and then unintentionally throwing yourself out of ketosis.  At the establishment, whenever possible, see if you can order individual dishes rather than going ʻfamily styleʻ which will give you more control over your order.  Your best bet is to simply tell the waiter that you are on a very strict diet for medical reasons, and need a simply prepared item (such as grilled fish with lemon/salt/pepper and a plain salad).  We are lucky that we live Hawaiʻi and chefs are very used to accommodating visitors from all over who follow special diets.  It never hurts to ask for exactly what you want!
  2. Office parties: If catered, try to be a part of menu planning and make sure lean, non-breaded proteins and salad are on the menu.  If itʻs potluck, thatʻs even easier, because you can prepare and bring exactly what you want to contribute!
  3. Other non-potluck events/parties where you donʻt have say over the menu: do the best you can to only choose to eat a lean, non-breaded protein item plus a green vegetable or salad.  Prepare yourself beforehand by making sure you have a healthy IP snack or a protein-rich snack so you are not starving once you are at the party – youʻll be far less tempted to cheat.  Drink plenty of water throughout the event, and try to focus less on the food and more on the company.
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