You can’t always prepare and eat your meals at home, but can be prepared so you won’t blow it.
Of course, if you are on the 24 Day Challenge, you may need to scrutinize this list even more, especially in the first 10 days.
Mexican: Choose chicken, beef, or shrimp fajitas with black beans or salad on the side instead of rice; carne asada (steak with onions and peppers); shrimp diablo (this is grilled with garlic butter — ask that the cook either go easy on it or just leave it off); grilled fish tacos (with corn tortillas rather than flour); taco and tostada salads with chicken, beef, or shrimp for protein (don’t eat the taco-shell bowl). Order everything à la carte. Skip the rice and ask for black beans, not refried beans.
Chinese: Look for dishes with meats that aren’t breaded and deep-fried. Also, avoid noodles, and get brown rice on the side. Try to steer clear of sweet-and-sour sauce and other sugary items. Opt for beef and broccoli dishes, shrimp and snow peas, garlic chicken, Mongolian beefsteak, or dishes that have meat and a vegetable, and ask that they be steamed, with sauces served on the side. You can also ask that the chef go easy on the cooking oil.
Thai: Choose any satay dishes (chicken, shrimp, or beef); any protein or vegetable stir-fry; or steamed fish, chicken, or beef lettuce rolls. Avoid fatty coconut milk curries, noodles, and rice.
American: You can order hamburgers (without bread or on a whole-grain bun), turkey dogs, meat chili, vegetable soups, kosher turkey bacon, white-meat chicken, and egg whites. A green salad is also a great option, but never with bacon, cheese, or croutons; look for salads that are full of vegetables, and ask for the dressing to be served on the side.
Indian: Choose chicken, lamb, beef, or shrimp tikka (grilled marinated meat skewers) or chicken or beef tandoori; any vegetable dish, such as bhagan bharta (whipped eggplant), aloo gobi (marinated steamed cauliflower), or vegetable jalfrezi (mixed vegetables). Avoid curries, rice, and naan bread.
Sushi: Stick to sashimi. Order your favorite rolls as hand rolls with no rice. You can do this with almost any roll.
Italian: Order any chicken or fish dish, beef carpaccio, or any salad (always with the dressing on the side). Avoid heavy, creamy, or sugary sauces, and don’t get pasta.
French: Choose any steak, chicken, or fish dish, or any salad (always with the dressing on the side). Avoid rich, creamy, or sugary sauces, and don’t get potatoes.
Breakfast: Order any egg dish to be made with egg whites, if possible. Go for low-fat cottage cheese, Greek yogurt with berries, turkey bacon, or smoked salmon. Avoid waffles, pancakes, bagels, muffins, doughnuts, and other pastries.