Dining Out Tips: Enjoy Restaurant Dining and Still Lose Weight

Did you know that you could still enjoy your favorite restaurants and continue to lose weight, if you would just practice a few easy dining out tips? American restaurants bring in over 500 billion dollars in sales each year, according to the National Restaurant Association. Imagine how that figure would increase if international sales were added. Is it any wonder that people rarely cook at home anymore given our busy schedules, the rising cost of groceries, and hectic work schedules?

Even with the rise in obesity rates and other weight-related health issues, people are still flocking towards restaurants. Given this fact, it's imperative that people are educated and encouraged to make healthy choices. Following these quick and easy dining out tips can help you be successful as you pursue your weight loss goals.

Never show up famished! Saving up all day for your special meal is not good for your metabolism and sets you up for failure. Eat light but regularly throughout the day. If you are especially hungry, eat a small salad or a cup of soup before ordering the remainder of your meal.

Plan your 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 unfold. When you sit down and look at the menu, remember your plan.

Split a meal with your dining companion or order an appetizer as your meal. Save money and have room for dessert. If that's not an option for you then eat half and carry the other half home.

Dressings and sauces should be brought on the side so that you can control the amount. Dip your fork and notice that a little goes a long way. Avoid fried foods. Instead, order items that are "broiled", "grilled", or "roasted." High-sodium foods are sometimes advertised as "teriyaki" or "smoked", and high fat items are frequently called "breaded", "sauteed", "scalloped", or "creamed."

Limiting yourself to one glass of wine is an excellent dining out tip. When you overindulge, your defenses are compromised. Share one dessert with the whole table, or skip dessert entirely!

It's a good dining out tip to ask the waiter to hold the breadbasket or chip basket. If that's not possible due to the wishes of your companions, then stick to your plan. One piece of bread without butter or a half dozen chips with salsa would be more than sufficient.

Remember that it takes your stomach 20 minutes to realize it has had enough, so slow down your eating process! Eat slowly and really enjoy each bite. Put down your fork and wait a minute between bites. Focus on the conversation instead of your food. Be aware of your hunger and stop eating when you're no longer hungry. Don't wait to be full!

Buffets present their own special challenge. Use small plates to serve yourself. Stay away from the salad bar with the exception of lettuce and vegetables. The prepared salads are generally very high in calories and fats. Avoid creamy dressings on your salad and choose something light or just olive oil and vinegar instead. Don't add seeds, croutons, or cheese to your salad. Stick to steamed vegetables and the carving station. These will be your healthiest choices. Allow yourself only one small dessert.

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About The Author, Gailm.davis
Gail M. Davis offers more helpful dining out tips to help you enjoy your restaurant experience while losing weight. She has a complete website devoted to weight-related topics and easy weight loss tips to help jump-start your diet.