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Beating Restaurants at Their Own Game!

Over a Dozen Dining Out Tips


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awesome..thanks.... Report
Good article. Report
Good article. Report
I try to check menus online before I go and pick something that's within my calorie range Report
When I go out to eat I count that as my cheat day. I skip the fries but allow myself a few from my daughters plate. I also found a few fav places that do soup and salad combos. Soups are great if theyre not cream based. I like cesar salads, dressing on the side, with lemon wedges. If its a good cesar then I just put lemon. Report
Never go out hungry? Sometimes that defeats its purpose. If you're going to a party with lots of finger food, its a good idea not to go hungry. However, if you are going out to eat dinner? Isn't the idea to get fed? There are smart choices in restaurants/ Report
I can't believe that SP is suggesting diet soda and artificial sweetener with your coffee or tea! I thought SP was advocating for healthy changes, not toxic substitutes that studies are proving actually cause weight gain! Most of the other suggestions look really good to me, except I can't do the "eat before you go" thing because I'll overeat anyway. Until I learn to control my compulsive eating (the "see food" diet), I either avoid situations where I might get into trouble or make sure I eat super low calorie in the earlier part of the day in order to compensate. My "no excuses" profile pic just doesn't hold in some situations... :( Report
@HollyAnn, why not just order a garden salad? Not all salads have fried meat on top! As a lifelong vegetarian (41 years) who has traveled all over the USA and all over the world, I can assure you that meatless, breadless salad options are available nearly everywhere. If they are not available at your favorite restaurant, it is highly unlikely that the other food served there is healthful, child-sized portion or not. Report
Simple, liveable, options are the key. My whole family is vegetarian.
Need a burger? Veggie burger, no cheese, no mayo.
Skip the fries. Choose a salad or steamed vegetables.
Dieing for italian? Order a meal. Protien + vegetable. Get a small cup of pasta as a side order. Report
I believe in eatinga small healthy snack before going out to dinner or going to a party or holiday dinner- the reason is, if I am not super hungry, I can turn down seconds, and desserts and choose healthier options, but when I feel ravenously hungry, if a bread basket is in front of me, I find it hard to turn down.

I don't go and NOT eat, I just Portion control myself- which most successful weight loss users say is the key: portion control.

If I go hungry, I won't be able to only eat "half my meal" and then save the other half for the next day.

Best wishes!
Lisa Report
I do agree with BAWAGERS that if you are vegetarian Applebee's may not be the best choice, but for people who are not no-meat eaters (like myself...I stick to chicken and fish) I've found that they have fresh choices and they have nice dinners under 550 cals.
I've also found that with many chain places they have a menu or nutritional info online. If I know I'm going some place, I go online first to choose what I'll have. This motivates me to stay on track the rest of the day, and I can track my future meal before I eat it. For me that takes away my anxiety when I see the 10 page menu. I've made my choice, it fits into my plan for the day, choose H20 for my drink and I'm set. I'm not a desert person so that's never a problem for me.

Great Article! Report
Mararittm, I'm always baffled by the "eat before you go out to eat" advice, too. I can understand not starving yourself all day, but it seems dysfunctional to go out to eat when you're not hungry. Report
Whenever I eat out, I actually avoid the salads, because they're either Super-sized salads with not a good portion option, or they have more calories then my daily intake of food! Not because of the salad dressing, but because they have breaded, fried chicken on top, or specially-cooked ham or some other kind of meat or other ingredients that load on the calories. When asked if I could not have some of those ingredients in the salad, the waitress said they couldn't make a special request because they sold the dish as-is.

It's only recently that, when going to one of the restaurants, I was able to order from the kids meals: much smaller potions, decent calories, and I can treat myself to something that I normally wouldn't be able to eat with the regular adult-sized meals. Report
If you are vegetarian, DO NOT go to Applebee's.

That is very interesting the only restaurant advertisement you had is for Applebee's.

Just last night, we were choosing a restaurant to go to with our vegetarian friend. Applebee's was one of our options until our vegetarian friend said that is one of the only restaurants that would NOT work with her for her dietary needs. Therefore, we didn't go to Applebee's and probably won't in the future. Report
We rarely eat out during the course of our regular routine and it's easy to track calories and stay disciplined as far as intake and exercise are concerned. I prefer to patronize restaurants that have the nutritional information on the menu or at least have some healthy choices such as Applebee's. My downfall is when on vacation or cruising my discipline goes out the window and I tend to splurge and then make up for it after we get home. I especially LOVE frozen custard which is practically a diet staple up north, mainly in Wis, Minn, Illinois. I appreciate all the good ideas to stay healthy eating focused that everyone has contributed. Report

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