Eat Out & Lose Weight

Restaurants Are Not The Enemy

eat out lose weight

Eating out doesn’t have to do in your dieting efforts. Here, some smart strategies to eat out with out filling out: 

Do your homework
 Many restaurants post their menus online; just search for the restaurant’s name followed by “nutritional analysis” or “nutritional information.” Take the time to read it, and decide ahead of time what you’ll order

Choose by food, not by restaurant 
Before you head out to a restaurant, go to, which recommends menu items that meet a set of criteria determined by a team of nutritionists and dietitians. Approximately 30,000 chain and independent establishments nationwide are listed. Once you’re on the website, type in your zip code. The names of the participating restaurants in your area will come up along with a list of the healthy items they offer.

Decode the menu
 Words like battered or crispy usually mean the items are fried, while au gratin, creamed or scalloped indicate cream or cheese or both. Because it is so hard to gauge a restaurant menu’s calories, it is best to avoid grains and rice-based dishes as they probably contain too much butter, oil, or cream. And offer a firm “no, thanks” when the waiter offers to bring around the dessert tray or offers you the dessert menu.

Get cozy with your faves If you tend to frequent the same spots, get familiar with the menu and the manager or your favorite server. Don’t hesitate to make special requests, such as whole-wheat pasta or brown rice, or ask if the chef will pan fry instead of deep fry to save you calories. Most chefs are happy to accommodate requests from their regular customers.

Order smartly 
Generally speaking, grilled chicken or fish, and even a lean cut of beef, such as sirloin or tenderloin, are good bets. If something is topped with a sauce, ask if it contains cream or oil. If so, pass on it or ask for it on the side. Skip the potato and request another veggie instead. Order a vinaigrette salad dressing on the side and say a polite “no, thank you” to any offers of the breadbasket.