I developed gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with my first child. After my diagnosis, I visited a nutritionist, tested my blood sugar levels periodically throughout the day and modified my eating to lower my carbohydrate intake. When eating out, it can be difficult to watch carbs because so much of it sneaks into sauces, side dishes and other ingredients. Pregnancy.Org recently offered 8 tips for moms-to-be who have gestational diabetes to consider when they eat out:
1. Research restaurants: Most chain and fast food restaurants have websites with all of their nutritional information so that you can plan your meal ahead of time.
2. Have a plan of attack: Think simple. You can order a piece of grilled fish or chicken most places. Round out your meal with whole grains and vegetables and fruits. If your lifestyle packet includes exercise after each meal, consider parking the car a few blocks away or strolling around doing a bit of window shopping.
Does your plan include a meal or snack every couple hours? If so, consider making reservations that coincide with your regular meal times and visiting during less busy hours so you don’t get stuck waiting for a table.
3. Skip the freebies: Ask that your server not being breads, chips or other pre-meal appetizers. If you need a snack to carry you over, ask for a vegetable platter.
4. Portion control: Often the portion of a restaurant meal is 2-3 times the amount you should be eating. If you find it hard to control your eating, split an entrée with a friend or ask for half of it to be wrapped to go right when you get it.
5. Make substitutions: You’re not being a pest; you’re taking care of yourself and your baby. Get an order of vegetables or garden salad in place of a side of fries. Ask for fresh fruit instead of hash browns. See if the chef can can prepare lower-fat meals for you with lean cuts of meat or chicken without the skin.
6. On the side: Ask for your dressing, sauces, and gravy to be served on the side and then use them sparingly to avoid excess calories.
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