a woman looking at restaurant menus online

Dining Out With Diabetes: My Game Plan

Who doesn't enjoy dining out at your favorite spot? I love eating out. My husband and I eat out at least 3 times a week. It seems like the best thing, right? After a hectic workday, having someone serve you a nice meal and saving you from cooking is such a treat.

But when you have type 2 diabetes, dining out can be very tricky. Dining out can be a big red alert, especially when the restaurant's options and managing your blood sugar levels don't go hand in hand.

Preparation is key

So, I have learned to plan before going out, especially when dining out with friends. I must plan this outing. Before stepping out, I must check my blood sugar levels. When I check my blood sugar before the meal, I will know where I stand and how much to eat during the meal. It gives me enough space to know when to stop.

Suggest the restaurant

I like to choose the restaurant. It gives me an edge to select a place with some diabetes-friendly options. Good idea, right?

I choose the restaurant by scanning their menu online beforehand to save time at the table. Certain things I look for on the menu are dishes with lower calories or carbohydrate counts and foods that can satisfy my cravings.

The menu can be a challenge

The problem here is that it's not always as easy as it sounds. You sometimes have to put on your thinking cap. I feel like that brainy character in shows who plays with formulas. Never mind, health should be our priority, my friends. So, I put that extra effort into choosing a place with nice healthy menu options.

Figure out what works for you

Once I'm at the restaurant, I usually order an appetizer and soup. This, my friends, help me fill my belly. I typically start with some sort of vegetable soup with extra scallions (I love them) and a fresh green salad.

Then, I'm ready to move to my main meal. I prefer ordering chicken, steak, or fish. I wonder how different places cook my favorite meal, and every time it tastes different. My favorite is to order a grilled steak with extra roasted or baked vegetables. Green vegetables and meat help my sugar levels stay in the safe zone.

Watch those beverages

I usually order water with muddled lemon and mint for a beverage - it is so refreshing! The lemon and mint also help aid in digestion.

I don't drink sugary beverages with sweeteners because that throws off a carefully curated meal. So, soda is a big "NO" for me. At a point, I used to be a frequent soda drinker. I have been drinking soda my whole life, but not anymore. It makes diabetes management harder for me.

Learn over time

I might sound like a professional meal manager, but that is not the case. Through so many trials and errors, I learned the food choices that are delicious and diabetes-friendly for me.

I often struggled with my food cravings and extravagant meals while dining out and dealing with blood sugar spikes. But the lesson I have learned over the years is that I had to start curating my dine-out meals to my needs, which turned out to be helpful.

Not only do I feel better, but my glucose numbers are also good. I lost 40 pounds a few years ago and have maintained my weight. Now that I have carefully curated my meal choices, I am ready to go and slay my meal!

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