Dining Out Tips: How to Lose Weight While Eating Out!

Is it really necessary to be careful when you're dining out? Can't you just splurge when you eat out and watch your intake when you're at home? Not if you want to lose weight! According to the National Restaurant Association, American restaurants bring in over 500 billion dollars in sales annually! Imagine what that figure must be worldwide! With grocery prices soaring, the majority of mothers working outside of the home, and so many people working long hours and living hectic lives, is it any wonder that we don't cook anymore?

The problem, of course, is that with the growing obesity problem, and all the health-related issues that come with it, people are going to have to learn how to make wise choices when eating out in restaurants.

There's absolutely no reason to give up restaurants! Let's face it; their sales will probably continue to soar! Just follow these quick and easy dining out tips to help you make wise choices and you will be successful on your weight loss journey.

  • Follow the new 5-4-3-2-1 Diet when dining out. No foods are off-limits!

  • Plan the meal out in your mind before going to the restaurant. You might not be familiar with their menu, but you'll be able to guess the basic choices. Go through step by step, from wine and appetizer to dessert, visualizing how you want the evening to go. When you sit down and look at the menu, remember your plan.

  • Split a meal with your dining companion. Save money and have room for dessert!

  • If no one wants to share a meal with you, put half to two-thirds in a "to-go box" for the next day.

  • Order an appetizer as your meal. Add a small salad with the dressing on the side.

  • Be specific when ordering. Ask questions and make requests. The restaurant is there to serve you and most are happy to do so. They want repeat customers! Order all dressings and sauces on the side so that you can dip your fork and control your portion. Order your food grilled, broiled, or roasted--never fried!

  • Limit yourself to one glass of wine.

  • Share one dessert with the whole table, or skip dessert entirely!

  • A good dining out tip is to ask the waiter to keep the breadbasket or chip basket. If your dining companions want these things, then decide ahead of time exactly how much you will have and stick to the plan!

  • Eat SLOWLY and savor your food. Put down your fork between bites. Chew well. Remember that it takes approximately 20 minutes for you stomach to register that you've eaten enough. Assess how you feel and stop eating when you're no longer hungry.

  • Eat with intention! Be a good listener and focus on your companions instead of your food.

  • If eating in a fast food restaurant, never super-size. Ask the people at the counter what the healthiest choices are. Most have been trained to provide this information.

  • At a buffet, use the salad-sized plates for your meal. Stay away from the salad bar with the exception of the fresh lettuce that you fix yourself. No creamy dressings! Don't load your salad up with croutons, sunflower seeds, and cheese. Add only vegetables or beans. The other "salads" are loaded with fat and calories. Stay away from them. Choose meat from the carving station and add some vegetables. Allow yourself one small dessert.

  • Never show up at a restaurant starving. If your hunger is over the top, eat a small salad before leaving home.

  • Know that foods described as "smoked", "barbecued", or "teriyaki" are going to have high sodium and anything "breaded", "sautéed", "au gratin", "scalloped", or "creamed" is going to be high in fat.

Use these simple dining out tips to help you enjoy your restaurant experience. There's no reason why you can't enjoy a guilt-free meal and continue to lose weight!

Gail M. Davis is the author of the weight loss advice site www.easy-weightloss-tips.com. For more tips on weight loss visit our site today!

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