I have a notebook in Evernote with a separate note for each restaurant I visit and what the best options are for my diet plan in each. I don't write down the "best options" that I wouldn't like either - just what I'd actually order. With my smart phone, I have that custom reference to keep me on track.
When eating out and not having nutrition facts available, I d
Planning my menu choices before I arrive at a restaurant helps me stay in my daily points range. If I arrive without having a chance to look at the menu online, I request the nutritional information when we are seated.
I usually look at the nutritional info for a restaurant if I know I'm going later, but sometimes I'm surprised by an invitation to dine out. When calorie information is not easily found out, go for the soup! It works every time. In Mexican restaurants, try tortilla soup. In Chinese, try wonton. I always come out way ahead by sticking to soup!
If you go out to eat, bring a tupperware container with you. As soon as the food is served, put half in the container, enjoy your meal, and put any leftovers into the container. You won't overeat, and you'll have something delicious for tomorrow's lunch!
It can be hard to stay on track while eating out, because it seems like you either have to order something you don't really want, or you just can't stay within a reasonable calorie range. What has worked for me is determining the one thing I really want -- whether it is an appetizer, cocktail, entree, side dish, or dessert. I can have any of those things, but I usually cannot have all of those things, so I pick the one I want most and plan the rest of my meal around that item.
I have found that when I order a full meal off the menu in a restaurant, I eat far more calories than I had planned on, and on things that I don't even care much about. I have been much more successful eating out and staying on track when I only order the specific items I want. If what I want doesn't come without sides, I will ask them to leave the side off altogether or replace it with vegetables. It doesn't always save money, but my health is worth more than an extra dollar on the tab.
We all know that when traveling it can be a bear eating healthy - or eating as healthy as you can.
When I go out for a meal, before it is delivered to my table I always ask for a to-go box. Once the food arrives, I immediately put at least half of it in the box and set it aside. You may get strange looks at first but it will definately stop you from overeating. (Don't eat out of the box!!)
I utilize restaurant.com, they usually have $25 gift certificates for sponsored restaurants for $10, it really works! I signed up for their emails and today I bought $100 in gift certificates for $10 as a special! No expiration dates either!
When I go out to eat I always ask for a bread plate. When my entrée comes I transfer some of it to the bread plate and I immediately ask for a to go box for whatever remains. This helps me with my portion control and also gives me a leftover meal for lunch the next day.
If you don't feel like cooking but don't want the big bill of a restaurant or fast food, order to-go. Not paying for drinks saves you a lot of money. Some people tip the to-go person at least a dollar or two, but it's still often much less than you'd end up tipping a server for dining in house.
If you need to have your dressing on the side, or your stir-fry done with broth instead of oil, etc. just ask for it!
When eating out at a sitdown restaurant I want to enjoy a good meal not bland grilled chicken. Most restaurants have huge portion sizes to begin with so me and my husband choose to split a meal and end up saving on calories and getting a great meal for half the price which is a great bonus!
Whenever I go to a restaurant that has a buffet, I ask to order off the menu. I've learned that I just don't have the willpower for a buffet, and I'm always trying to "eat my money's worth." I'm just as satisfied with a plate of my own.
My husband and I have recently paid off every credit card we had; after working on this task for nearly two years! It just aggravated me to no end to see all that interest that we did pay and would have paid had we continued to keep them alive and acitve!