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85 Tips & Strategies for Dining Out

Take the Challenge Out of Dining


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  • I agree with the comment about asking to replace butter with another spread. Margarine is a transfer and definitely not preferable to butter. A better option would be to use butter in moderation. If I am served margarine in a restaurant, I simply eat my bread without anything rather than knowingly eat transfat. (I know restaurants use transfats and I can't totally avoid them when I am eating out.) Good bread is good without it.
    Goid tips and reminders.
    One tip not mentioned is to order a to go box before meal arrives. So when meal arrives half goes in the box before I start eating.
    I have a fear of restaurants I've never had before, this article helps.
  • This seems very stressful. Honestly, the article has an overall negative tone that is not parallel with what SparkPeople stands for. Sure, some of these suggestions are helpful, like not overeating and making nutricious selections, but I think this one definitely needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Also, one thing that really gets me about Sparkpeople articles are the tacky phrases and not-so-clever puns. It's a little lame. 😂
  • Ate mexican last night. Hubby and I share meals. Had chicken fajitas, veggies and meat only and hubby had the extras, rice, sour cream and cheese. I ate a usual portion- 4 oz chicken, 1 cup peppers and onions, 2 tbsp oil for cooking. Delicious and maintained program integrity.
  • This article is rather out-dated.
  • I don't dine out very much, but this article makes me not to ever again. And since when is margarine an acceptable substitute for butter? This is one where I must take whatever good/helpful information I find and dump the rest. If I'm treating myself to a meal out, which-again-is not very often, then I'm going to enjoy myself...and fruit as a side and/or dessert doesn't really scream "joy" for me.
  • Had grilled chicken and baked potato at Flanagan's yesterday. Skipped the creamy chowder soup and garlic rolls.
  • Always a good idea to work on keeping calories within reason when eating out. However, unless you eat out all of the time, why not allow yourself to splurge every now and then? Eating out does not have to be such a stressful event. And after a wonderful meal out it's right back on track, moving on with my life.
  • If I decide to splurge when going out for Italian, I ask for a pink sauce that's two thirds marinara mixed with one third Alfredo. I get a taste of what I want and leave the rest on the plate.
  • This article must have been written before the chain restaurants exploded and the menus are what they are - and other than "dressing on the side" and asking them to take away bread and butter there's not much they can do to the meal - they don't cook most of them fresh. We avoid those restaurants in favor of the old style less popular (so no TV either - hooray) where you actually can order what you'd like to have within reason. But there is good news. Applebees, Panera and some others now have fresh foods and restaurants are required to list a calorie count if not nutrition information. I loved Marie Callendars - really loved it and thought many things were healthy - and they are actually OK - if you eat 1/4-1/3 of the meal. More than that and you also consume 1/2 a days calories without the benefit of nutrition. I personally lost my sense of taste completely with surgeries and therefore look, mouth feel (think full fat) and aroma are important to satisfaction. I just have to watch it carefully. Didn't succeed Saturday - Indian veg - not buffet but still way too much fat. There is no "on the side" with curry. It was the first time in my 21 days I went WAAAYYY over and walked away happy but hungry.
  • I always download the menus and the nutrition info to my phone. I have a fold where they are stored. I will update them from time to time. I find the nutrition info informative while making my choice.

    Most restaurants have this available on the web.
  • Aside from some editing concerns, my biggest issue is with the anti-avocado sentiment. Don't believe me? Here's this Spark People article to help you out:

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