Dining Out On A Diet

You don”t have to stay home to eat healthy. Most restaurants have low fat options and are quickly adding low carb menus.   Before going out, call around and find a restaurant with a menu that will be a good match for your diet. Once at the restaurant, there are ways to enjoy a guilt free meal. The secret to success is in the initial ordering–you don”t want to find yourself staring at a plate of bad choices, and regretting it only after the plate is empty.

Some experts suggest that once served, you should ask for a take-out container and put half of it away for the next day”s lunch or dinner.   This works great if you are incredibly self-controlled.   However, if the knowledge that there is more food under the lid of that Styrofoam container is too much–change the way you order.   Side dishes, children”s plates, and appetizers are all great alternatives.   Request that extras like gravy, butter, sauces, salad dressings, and sour cream be served on the side. Slightly dipping a fork in a condiment before you stick it into your food is a great way to limit the extra calories while adding flavor to your food.

Don”t be afraid to substitute. Substitute a salad for fries, a green vegetable for potatoes, or low fat versions for their fat laden counterparts.   If there are no substitutions available, ask to have the item left off the plate.   Such a request may result in your waiter explaining that you have to pay for it anyway.   Simply let him know that you don”t mind–or you”ll end up paying with your waistline.   Sometimes another person at the table will want the item you want left in the kitchen.   If this is the case, ask the waiter to serve the item on a separate plate.

Fast food restaurants offer a challenge to the average weight loss plan.   However, if you must go to one, there are usually a few healthy choices you can make.   Order a salad, grilled chicken, or a roast beef sandwich.   If you are on a low carb diet, request a plate and a fork with your sandwiches so that you can eat it without the bun.   In casual and fine dining scenarios, simply choose items according to the way they are cooked, avoiding anything that is battered and fried.   Instead, order items that are steamed, broiled, baked, roasted, or poached.   Stay away from food that is creamed, cheese sauce, or items marinated in oil. Especially destructive to your weight loss efforts are casseroles and pastry crusts.

As for drinks– water, diet sodas, and ice tea are all good choices.   A single glass of wine fits nicely into most diets, but only if you have the willpower to pass on a second glass when offered.   Desserts don”t have to be off limits, especially if everyone else at the table in partaking.   This will only cause you to dig into the ice cream in your freezer with wild abandon once you get home.   Choose a dessert that does not come with ice cream, whipped cream, or any kind of sauce.   But only order it if you have someone willing to share it with you.   Have the waiter bring it out already divided up.

There is no reason not to enjoy a guilt free dinner out.   There are many options available, you just have to make the right choices.


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