Eating out on the FMD: A cuisine cheat sheet

Earlier, we covered my tips on eating out — navigating the menu, asking questions, and bringing some strategic ‘extras’ with you. (See “Rule the Restaurant”.) Generally, some types of restaurants tend to work a little better if you’re on the Fast Metabolism Diet or in maintenance, living a healthy lifestyle. Here’s a cheat sheet.


Tips for types of restaurants

Certain types of restaurants and food types are more adaptable than others if you’re doing the Fast Metabolism Diet. At the very least, most restaurants should be able to rustle up a big salad for you with phase-specific protein and lemon or lime (or balsamic vinegar).

The hotel restaurant. Always eat within 30 minutes of waking, remember? The hotel restaurant is your friend! This is where you’ll score the fresh fruit and oatmeal you crave for Phase 1, your veggie-packed egg white omelets for Phase 2, and—well, both for Phase 3. Hard-boiled eggs are also great to grab for a snack later.

Seafood. One more reason to love the beach! Seafood works for every phase of the Fast Metabolism Diet. Just check your food list or the Fast Metabolism Diet App to find the right seafood for your phase.

Sushi is another great seafood option, especially for Phase 3 and if you skip the rice. You can really go crazy with sashimi—calamari, crab, lobster, salmon, shrimp, and more. A seaweed salad also gives your thyroid an extra boost.

Steakhouses. Steak works for every phase of the Fast Metabolism Diet, too! You’ll usually find chicken, lamb, and pork chops here, as well—just match your phase. And don’t hesitate to ask for chicken without the sauce, ask for meats to be grilled dry, or double veggies instead of a baked potato. Just do it with a smile!

Middle Eastern. Yummy hummus, lamb, baba ghanoush, and everything drizzled with rich olive oil—definitely a good bet for Phase 3. Just skip the pita and dip veggies from the salad bar instead.

Chinese. Not too bad, as long as you skip most of the sauces. Many of those sauces contain sugar, and/or MSG. MSG is a huge metabolism killer, long known to cause headaches, and it can also stimulate insulin resistance and aggressive fat storage. Ask for brown rice and tamari instead of soy sauce. You can usually opt for steamed veggies instead of stir-fried, too, which is ideal for Phase 1 and Phase 2. Stack a few packets of tamari in your bag and you’ll always have it on hand.

Vegetarian restaurants tend to be health-conscious anyway (bonus points if it’s organic!) If you’re vegetarian, well, this pick is obviously custom-made for you. I love to choose vegetarian restaurants on Phase 3 days because goodies like cashew cheese, avocado spreads and coconut decadence are their specialties. Just be sure to avoid soy, and watch out for wheat and corn too.