Muscle Building Nutrition Tips At A Restaurant

By

Vince Del Monte, WBFF Pro Fitness Model, Certified Fitness Trainer
and Nutritionist and author of No Nonsense Muscle
Building.

1. Take One Bite At A Time

Inhaling your food in a few bites, or gulps, results in a larger amount of food entering the stomach at once.  This is not only bad for digestion and absorption but it can leave you feeling bloated and with unpleasant gas problems (so I’ve heard).  Eating slower will ensure you don’t over eat because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register that you’re full.  If you eat fast or gulp fast then you eat beyond the point of fullness and this leads to unhealthy weight gain. Whether you want to pack on muscle or get ripped, enjoy your food and eat slower.

2. Broiled or Baked?

Do your best to order you food broiled, steamed or baked. Broiling and baking remove fat as the cooking takes place, opposed to frying and deep-frying add extra fat calories.

3. “Take It Away!”

That’s what you say when they bring by the basket of “free” bread.  Have your waiter take it away and don’t even bother letting it sit there to tempt you. If it’s not starring at you then you won’t eat it. Nothing in life is “free.”  Your belly will “pay” for it later!

4. Avoid Dinner After 6pm

Book early reservations so you’re not ordering a double chocolate ice cream brownie dessert at 10pm at night. You are probably familiar with the theory of eating late causes weight gain and I’m a firm believer in this message.  Some experts argue that total calories is the main factor in weight gain and a small amount of carbs in the evening time will have minimal harm, and I agree.  However, restaurant dinners usually contain more than a “small handful of carbs” so not only will the excess calories get stored as fat but you’ll spike your insulin causing fat storage while you sleep.

5. Pass The Salt

Although you need a bit of salt for chemical reactions in your body and nerve impulses, you’ll get more in your diet than necessary without even trying.  For example, 2 slices of bread supply more than your daily requirement for salt.  Too much salt has been connected to heart and kidney diseases.  Bottom line, don’t add salt to your food.

6. Steam Your Vegetables

The most nutritious form of vegetables are raw so eat your veggies like this whenever possible. Cooking destroys much of the nutritional content. If you’re in a restaurant, ask them to steam your vegetables instead of boiling. Boiling will suck out 50 to 75 percent of the nutrient value.  Considering vegetables are not cheap, this is a horrible way to throw your money down the toilet.

7. Ask For Fruit Or Oatmeal Instead Of TheBread

I love eating out for breakfast. While you need plenty of carbs to grow muscle, breads are never your best bet. Even whole-grained breads are more refined than potato or oatmeal. Always ask for oatmeal instead of all the bread that comes with your breakfast meal. You can often get a side of tomatoes or fruit instead of the starch for cleaner calories.

8. Skip The Appetizer

It’s almost sickening to see how much food the North American culture consumes when we eat out.  Do you really need an appetizer?  Do you have appetizers when you eat at your home? You do realize appetizers are a complete money grab right?  Enjoy a nice entree by not getting filled up and charged extra for food your body does not need.

9. “Undress” Your Food

For example, instead of ordering a grilled chicken sandwich loaded with fat-packed mayonnaise, ask them to hold the mayo and request some mustard instead, which will control your caloric intake.   If you’re ordering any kind of meal with sauce, have the server bring the sauce on the side.  If you’re really want to cut weight, just say “No sauce.”

10. Never Order Sodas

Always order water and lemon (and lime) or a unsweetened iced tea.  I often just ask for a jug of water for the table so I don’t have to wait around for the server to return. After a few “free” refills on soda, you can consume easily over 500 calories, which is a meal in itself!

11. Don’t Let The Menu Bully You Around

Never be afraid to custom order your meal.  I’ve walked out of restaurants because they would not honour some simple requests like “no sauces”, “extra veggies”, “steamed instead of boiled”, or would not be “extra egg whites” into my omelette.

12. Save The Alcohol For Special Occassions

Not only is alcohol overpriced in restaurants but it also costs your waist line 7 calories for every gram. If your goal is to get shredded then be prepared to cut back on your alcohol and if you “must” get an alcoholic beverage than go with a glass of red or white wine to get a bit of nutrition. Limit your intake to just one drink. Another problem with drinking more than one beer or glass of wine at a restaurant is that it impairs your judgement – making you likely to order more deep-fried foods, extra bread and a some dessert. Not to mention, tomorrow’s workout is going to suffer.

13. Sugar Substitutes

When you’re finishing your dinner with a coffee, cappuccino or espresso, go for a sugar substitute i.e. fake sugar instead of real sugar. Even though sugar substitutes like aspartame have got a lot of bad press, they are among one of the most tested food compounds in the world and for the most part are considered safe. One sugar contains about 15 calories while artificial sweeteners contain no calories. I advise you to use the famous saying, “Everything in moderation.”  The ideal standard to shoot for would be to avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners completely.

14. Table Rules

After a night out for a dinner you can drive home knowing that either 1 of 3 things happened based on how you feel: Leave the table hungry and you will lose weight. Leave the table satisfied and you’ll maintain weight. Leave the table full and you will gain weight.

15. But Yourself An Awesome Cookbook!

Eating out is great but there is nothing like cooking a gourmet dinner in your own home at a fraction of the cost. An awesome cookbook will provide creative freedom over what you eat.  Without options, you’ll always cater to the “same-old-same-old” which can get boring and bland.

If you want to spice up your eating and get hundreds of healthy food choices then check out Dave Ruel’s Anabolic Cooking, which is an awesome cookbook and complete nutrition guide for bodybuilding and fitness.

http://NoNonsenseMuscleCooking.com <- CLICK HERE

ac-book2

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Comments

32 thoughts on “Muscle Building Nutrition Tips At A Restaurant

  1. Compound exercises will get the joint and muscle groups working at the same time. Forget isolation exercises like concentration curls. They only affect on joint your elbow and one muscle you bicep.

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  2. Burton Nicolaas May 7, 2010 at 10:58 am - Reply

    Hi Vince,

    I like tips nr 4, 8 and 13; actually helps a lot due I apply them longtime ago.
    Thanks for the rest of the great tips on this blog.

    Regards

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  3. I have my dinner around 9pm, protein and fats, never carbs. and i take BCAA's right before bed

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  4. You are right about the water! When I first started working out I made the decision to drink only water and boy were you able to see my six pack after that!! You always give good advice 🙂
    Keep the good stuff coming!

    Your Friend,
    Eddys Velasquez

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  5. Vince you are very right. Water is best for fat reduction. I drink lot of water every day. One thing one must keep in mind that if you drink lot of water then you must take enough salt too otherwise sweating will reduce the sodium in your body to a dangerously low level. Alcohal is not adivsable to for regular use. I always follow these.

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  6. Alcohol, Alcohol, Alcohol………been ruining my efforts for YEARS! Gonna apply the advice of your wedding book and see how that goes……Day 1 starts TODAY!

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  7. I liked number 14…I had never heard that before but it makes perfect sense. I am going to keep that in mind!

    Also, aspartame as well as Splenda(chemicalized sugar) are not good substitutes. We use Stevia liquid drops(always carry them in car or purse) and I have also used Xylito. I nver drink with meas as i have heard with older folks that it dilutes digestive enzymes……I also never get water in restaurants because it is most likely tap water….not filtered water.But sometimes I just order it and let it sit because the waiters cannnot handle me not drinking and keep asking"Are you sure you don't want something to drink?"

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    • I have friends who carry around Stevia too. I stick to the "everything in moderation" mantra instead.

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  8. Eating out is hard to do when you are trying to get rid of the fat. I followed some very similar rules on a business trip that required me to eat out multiple times a day. It really can work.

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    • It's one of those things… when you do it once successfully, it becomes easier the next time.

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  9. Hey Vince I've got a couple questions about the post:

    1) As far as taking one bite at a time because it takes 20 minutes to feel full, that makes perfect sense. But eating too fast is bad for digestion and absorption? Will eating a whole meal in 10 minutes vs 20 minutes actually have a negative effect on these things? I would think it would take longer than 20 minutes for food to even reach the small intestine, where absorption occurs, and thus it doesn't seem like eating fast would have any effect on absorption whatsoever. What evidence do you have that this is actually true and not just a myth?

    2) Too much salt has been connected to kidney and heart diseases? Just because high salt may exacerbate the symptoms of kidney disease, what evidence do you have that people with healthy kidneys can have both kidney and heart disease just from high salt consumption? Is this an actual cause-effect relationship, or just a correlation? I'd like to see whatever studies you have to support this claim

    3) How sure are you of aspartame's safety? I think guys like Mercola and Chek would disagree with you there. If someone cares about their health, they should avoid both sugar and aspartame, but if they truly are too weak-willed to avoid it, I would think you would recommend actual sugar as the lesser of two evils. Better to consume 15 calories then risk getting cancer

    Thanks for the help.

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    • Hey Zach,

      Keep the big picture in mind… if you scarf down your food every once and awhile, that's one thing. If you create a habit of scarfing down your food, you'll gain weight, absolutely. Try not to put every statement under a. microscope. You do know that for every piece of research you find, you'll find another one that contradicts it?

      Eating too fast causes the gut to contract, sending you to the restroom almost immediately after eating. You don't need a science study to tell you this. Test it out yourself. Signs of poor absorption and that you are not breaking down your food properly will be a quick trip to the bathroom and heartburn.

      Weak digestion leads to a weak immune system, which can lead to sickness too. If you're still in doubt, be your own guinea pig. That's how you really learn – not other peoples opinions.

      There's loads of research on your 2nd question.

      Show me the research that says aspartame is not safe. Again, everything in moderation. I m really not interested in if people agree with me or not. Worrying about what other people thing is a horrible use of energy. You have to decide for yourself which is the lesser of two evils. Thanks for your question.

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  10. Hey Vince, have you heard of or tried Ezekiel Bread? It's a very thick and grainy bread. It's much different from other breads. Look into it and if you think it is a good substitute for the other breads these days then suggest it next time. I hope you and Flavia are doing great.

    -Wayland

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  11. Actually, you may want to disregard that. LOL I just read a little about it and didn't like what I read. Soooo, yeah, I still hope you and Flavia are great. I'm gonna go eat some fruit now.

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  12. Thanks for the great article, Vince. I don’t drink and hate buying liquid calories, so I usually bring a water bottle out with me. I don’t bring food out with me as I don’t like them pre-prepared and prefer them fresh and hot. Thus, I always eat out. However, I want to prove that you don’t need to be overly strict with your macronutrient intake – it’d only lead to more stress! I try to add as much veggies to my meals as possible, especially for lunch, and go easy on meat. This has kept me at 9-11% body fat despite eating rice (albeit brown rice) and 2 servings of fruits at 7pm every night (gasp!) and having 2 servings of white rice for lunch (reminder: I eat loads of veggies with it!) and a sweet potato for breakfast! I find it easy to maintain my weight through a conscious feel for portion intake and 1h of metabolically stimulating exercise (including the warmup) every day. My friends are amazed that I can keep lean despite eating at the same places as them, but they don’t know that much is due to my selection of veggies during lunch to slow the absorption of refined carbs in the bloodstream!

    I have a question for you, regarding eating habits: when you drink water during meals, do you mess up the digestive process by diluting the gastric juice in the stomach? I know many people advise against it and to drink only 30min after the meal to allow for good digestion. Fact or fiction?

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    • Hey Clement. Sorry not I'm not Vince…or Flavia for that matter! I wanted to inform you that drinking water during meals is perfectly fine to do. Infact it is necessary since you eat alot of veggies at each meal, you need extra water to help keep your digestion runing smoothly. You may want to avoid ice cold water, because the temprature can temporarily slow down the process of digestion, so go for moderately cool water with lemon or lime(like Vince said) or I sometimes ask for hot water with several lemon wedges. The heat makes the lemon juice seem less tart. Hope this helped.*g*

      -Loni

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      • Why you give your stomach a tough time when you drink fluids with meals?

        Our stomach is actually really intelligent. It seems to know exactly what type and what amount of foods are in there, and it releases the right amounts of gastric juices accordingly.

        Thing is, if what we’ve put into our stomach is too liquid then the gastric juices won’t work, and the stomach knows this. So what happens is the water component is absorbed through the walls of the stomach until the contents are concentrated enough for the digestive juices to act. But when this happens, the concentrated part that’s left usually ends up being even thicker than food usually is in the stomach.

        But why is this bad?

        Putting anything into your stomach that causes a bit of digestive chaos of course is not going to be that great for you or your body.

        And when this process happens we are in fact delaying digestion and and possibly causing some foods to be absorbed through the walls of the stomach before the digestive juices get a chance to do their thing.

        My friend has severe acid reflux…and she was also told by her doctor not to drink with meals….but only after her meal

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    • FACT….SEE MY POSTING BELOW.

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  13. Vince,

    The comments about Aspartame is not correct. It is a very dangerous compound that Monsanto makes Billions of dollars a year on. Instead you can substitute Xylitol or Dr. Julian Whitaker has a sugar substitute (Whey Low) on his website that is made of pure fructose (not HFC syrup) and maltose which does not spike sugar levels and does not increase insulin production and release.

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    • Like I said above: “Everything in moderation.” The ideal standard to shoot for would be to avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners completely.

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      • but vince isn't it true that you need some sugers in your body,but i still agree ''dont eat artificial sweeteners'',thanks vince that helped me alot

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  14. Great article Vinny. A lot of good content. I do have one exception. The recommendation for sugar substatutes. Recommend you researchhttp://www.mercola.com and type artificial sweetners in the search engine. There is a wealth of infomation there and you will find that a lot of the research that has been done on artificial sweetners have been financed by the companies that produce the products. What does that tell you! The only safe artificial sweetner that I am aware of is Stevia, which is a herb. Keep the content coming!

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  15. Vince – Do you notice the look of dissappointment from the server when you order 'water' for your drink?? I have noticed it many times. Guess they are dissappointed as sodas are one of the items that are expansive and adds to the 'tip' at the end. I have also alke out of resturants that will only 'fry' foods (like fish).

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  16. I've noticed that when the meal is finished and the waiter asks about desert most people look around and wait for one person to answer….(secretly hoping someone else is the one to say they want desert.) Most people don't want to eat desert alone and just want someone else to eat with them to make them feel better about indulging. If you're the first to pipe up and say, "No thanks" everyone else usually says no too.

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  17. More gold from you Vince. I saw a report from Pat at Empowered that mentioned eating in before eating out. In other words, before meeting the boys to watch the game or showing up at a summer bbq, eat a healthy mini meal first so that it's easier to eat the bad stuff in moderation or avoid it completely. Another tip, if you are going to a social where there's drinking and you don't want to come across as a joyless prude, mix your wine or beverage with soda or seltzer and more of the latter than the former. Cheers!

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  18. Thanks for the above schedule..
    I will follow the same mentioned here

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  19. Hey Vince,

    Great article once again! Since I have been following your advice I have only been drinking water and lots of it! Alcohol is definitely been reserved for really special occassions. But of all your tips I like the No dinner after 6pm and not letting the menu bully you…

    Keep well

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    • This page has a problem in registering. The email filed and the click button are covered by the headline. So, it is impossible to enter the details for the freebies Vance advertised. He does not want any one to get freebies?

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    • How can people not eat after 6pm? If l have dinner at 5 l end up starving and can't sleep at night. l usually have dinner between 7 and 8. l am slim and do not want to loose weight as l would end up anorexic. l eat carbs a lot because l do a lot of cardio during my dance classes.

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