3 Aug


This report has been prepared by Nicky Billou and Dr. Marina Zelenovic, DNM, RNCP, principal nutritionist to members of the Toronto Argonauts (CFL), Maple Leafs (NHL), and Blue Jays (MLB), as well as American celebrities.

You are eating out in a restaurant?
You are eating on the run?
You’ve been invited over for dinner at someone’s house?
You are going to a party/bar-b-q or other social engagement?

1) ALWAYS ask your server how the foods are prepared! This will allow you to make necessary changes to your meal ~ and DO NOT fret ~ they are always willing to oblige you in restaurants.

2) Always choose options that are grilled, baked, steamed or raw ~ this will ensure you steer clear of highly fatty foods.

3) MAKE substitutions ~ if your meal comes with French fries, ask for the vegetable of the day or a garden salad (a baked potato if you are desperate).

4) Ask for ALL sauces “ON THE SIDE” ~ most of the saturated fat and calories comes from the sauces that are used, if on the side, you can add as LITTLE or as much as you want ~ but keep it on the low side!

5) Use oil and vinegar at the table as your salad dressing in place of commercial or house-made varieties ~ this also means NO MORE CESAER SALADS! Most of these are loaded with fat, sugar and preservatives, nothing you need! Besides, oil and vinegar allow you to control how much you drizzle on your foods.

6) Eye-ball your portion ~ if your protein meal is larger than a deck of cards then simply cut it in half and push one half to the side of your plate before you begin and DO NOT TOUCH it! Remember, portions are consistently getting bigger in restaurants these days. But this doesn’t mean you have to eat all that is in front of you ~ simply ask them to wrap it up and voila, lunch for tomorrow is ready!

7) If it is difficult for you to stop yourself from endeavoring all that is on your plate, simply ask your server to wrap half your meal BEFORE they even bring it to the table as this will eliminate any temptation and will NOT test your willpower!

8) Skip the appetizers and opt for salad to begin your meal ~ this will help fill you up (but not out) before your main course arrives. But if you can hold out, have your salad WITH your meal, as this is best for digestion.

9) Say ‘NO’ to bread and butter ~ eating refined carbs at the beginning of the meal tends to increase appetite and overall calories consumed.

10) If you will be going out for a late dinner, have a healthy snack or light meal at home first ~ and then choose lighter salads or appetizers. This way you can be social and have dinner with friends, while NOT sabotaging your eating plan (remember, it is not a good idea to eat large meals within 3 hours of going to bed).

11) Order without looking at the menu ~ arrive with a healthy meal in mind and just ask for it ~ most restaurants will accommodate and this will help you avoid temptation!


12) Always carry snacks around with you ~ keep them at your desk, in your briefcase and in your car. Great options include fresh fruit and veggies, homemade trail mix, green drinks or even protein powders. That way, when the munchies hit you will have something to hold you over until you have time to grab a proper meal ~ this will also keep you from relying on fast food.

13) If you MUST have fast food (because you failed to plan your meals for that day) AVOID fried and fatty options. Instead, go for a whole wheat sandwich, pita or wrap with lots of veggies and little condiments (mayo and processed cheese) or try and have a salad, baked potato or chili.

14) Better options include:
a) Wraps ~ which can be filled with veggies, lean chicken and sauces on the side
b) Subs or sandwiches (check out the ‘healthier’ options)
c) Soups (but not creamy ones ~ or at least ask how they are prepared) and salads
d) Chinese food: steamed veggies, chicken and brown rice (sauces on the side)
e) Sushi (but not Tempura)


Tell your host about your current eating habits ~ that way they will most likely prepare something that even you can eat. If you don’t feel comfortable notifying your host ahead of time, then ask the following:

15) Ask your friend what they will be serving so you know what to expect. If there will be nothing there for you to eat make sure you eat something small at home to hold you over so you can just pick through the meal.

16) Ask them if you can bring a dish ~ not only will you appear helpful, but you will also be ensuring that there is something there for you to eat!

17) If all else fails, go for the veggie dishes and salads ~ choose other dishes that are baked, steamed, or grilled and try your best to AVOID anything fried or too heavy (remember, eating a heavy meat meal late in the evening is counterproductive).

18) AVOID alcohol ~ alcohol is not only high in empty calories but also lowers our inhibitions and may lead you to eat more than you require or would, had you not sipped it in the first place. If you MUST have a drink, have a white wine and mix it with club soda or seltzer as this will halve your caloric intake ~ and you’ll still appear ‘social’.

19) If you don’t think you are ready to go to such occasions and still follow your meal plan, then it may not be a bad idea to regretfully decline the invitation at this time. Merely explain to your friend that this is not a good time, but maybe in a few weeks you could do it when you are feeling more confident and comfortable with your new way of eating.

20) Eat healthfully before leaving the house so you won’t be famished when you arrive, and even tempting foods will be less so.

21) Arrive fashionably late and wait for the buffet table to have been picked over by others. This will make it much less tantalizing than it had been originally, and most likely some of the most sinful foods will have disappeared.

22) Opt for: raw veggies, fruit, and anything that is not dredged in a creamy sauce or deep fried ~ also avoid cheeses and other ‘heavy’ foods.

23) Again, AVOID alcohol or at least drink it watered down as not to reduce your inhibitions and enhance your appetite, as well as increase your caloric intake. If drinking then alternate each alcoholic drink with water ~ this will not only keep you hydrated, but will also reduce the amount of alcohol you actually consume.

24) Strategically stay away from the buffet table and take this as an opportunity to re-connect with old friends or meet some new ones, rather than stress over what to eat or not eat.

If you are interested in improving your nutrition, or in fitness strategies to lose weight, increase your energy, and boost your self confidence, please call Nicky Billou at 416 688 8675, or e-mail him at nicky@tranz4m.com.


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