Dining Without Reservations: 7 simple strategies

Dining out in a restaurant can be challenging when you are trying to eat healthy and make weight-conscious choices. Things can get out of hand quickly when you are faced with too many options. It’s easy to consume more calories, fat and sodium in one restaurant meal than you need for the entire day. With a little planning however, you can make your dining out experience tasty, enjoyable, and weight-conscious.

Weight Loss Tip: Before you go out to eat, come up with a ‘dining-out strategy’.

Use these tips to help you dine out without pigging out: 

  • Scope out the restaurant menu ahead of time. Most restaurants have a web site showing their menu or you can use a site like www.opentable.com . This will allow you to pre-determine your entrée or at least narrow it down to a few choices. You may not get specific nutrition information, but you can get a general idea of which dishes would be a better choice.
  • Start your meal with a veggie-packed salad. This will help you fill up and feel satisfied sooner. Be sure to ask for salad dressing on the side so you can control how much you use.
  • Choose main dishes that are steamed, grilled, baked or broiled instead of fried or sautéed. Try to find one that includes vegetables such as a stir fry or kebob. Or ask for extra vegetables on the side.
  • Order foods that do not have creamy sauces or gravies, and add little or no butter yourself.
  • If the main entree is larger than you want, set it aside or pack half of it “to go” immediately – before you start eating. Another option is to share it with someone. Or consider ordering an appetizer-sized portion or side dish instead of an entrée.
  • As a beverage choice, ask for water, unsweetened tea, or another drink without added sugar. Be especially careful when it comes to alcohol as the calories can add up quickly.
  • If you want dessert, consider ordering fruit. If that just won’t do it for you, ask if someone would like to share a dessert. Sometimes just a bite or two is enough to satisfy your taste for something sweet.

What do you do to make your dining out experience healthy and weight conscious? I’d love to hear from you. Please share in the comments below.

Meanwhile, if you want to lose weight, improve your energy and feel better, I can help you get started. Take my free Self-Assessment at https://njnutritionist.com/freeassessment.


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