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Beating Restaurants at Their Own Game!

Over a Dozen Dining Out Tips

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The Olive Garden bread basket is evil!!! If I know I'm going out to eat I'll Google that restaurant and see what they have in the way of healthy choices or I look in my Eat This Not That book. If it ends up being a spur of the moment thing, then I use the best guess method. Cross my fingers and hope for the best. These tips will help with the spur of the moment thing. Report
I so have done this. In fact I am doing it tonight I am going to Red Lobster and I have printed the nutirional menu and know about what I want. I really won't eat at places that don't have theirs listed any more. Report
If you know that you are eating out you can go online and find the nutritional value to most restaurant items. I usually google the menu then google the nutritional facts. I like doing this not only to find the most healthiest meals on the menu but also i like to know what I'm having when I get there so I'm not overwhelmed with choices. Report
I take a couple of Poly O mozzarella sticks and snack on them if there are no fresh vegetables on offer as starters. Report
ANSARHALISI
I never eat out! I am always worried about what the hidden calories and fat! I'm worried that when I go on vacation I'll feel helpless. This article has helped a little bit. I think I will try and bring my breakfast and snacks so I won't have too much to worry about. I will do my best to take my time eating and try and look up the restaurants before we go anywhere! Thanks SP! Wish me luck! I would be so upset if I came back gaining weight! Report
BESTSUSIEYET
Planning ahead is key for me -- esp. when I know we're going to eat out. I can check out online menus and nutrition info (often available) and have a plan for dinner, then choose lunch & snacks during the day to complement dinner. I've been amazed that I CAN go out & have a nice meal without ruining my healthy eating for the day! Report
I went online and printed out the nutritional menu info for all the national restaurants in my area. I put them in a binder, so, I decide what I'm going to eat by checking that in the car before I even go into the restaurant.

I've also chosen one restaurant in my small town to patronize, almost exclusively. I talked with the owner, and she now keeps a bag of chicken breasts in the freezer and stocks fat free salad dressing. So, now, I can go in with friends and order grilled chicken and a side salad. It's really simplified things for me - and - I can go out and socialize! A side benefit is now that the restaurant is stocking healthy options, other folks in town have started ordering them as well. It's a win-win situation! Report
SUNNYDALEBETTY
I, too, think buffets can be Golden. I mean.. your own kitchen in a buffet. You can handle yourself in there, you can do it out of your comfort zone, also!

And as for dressing, I hear what you are saying about putting more on if you get it on the side. But the fork tine method is perfect. Not every bite has to have the taste of ranch on it! :) Report
It is helpful to me not only to plan what I'll eat in advance but to share my plan with my wife or someone I'll be with. Verbalizing the plan helps me be accountable. It also helps if I get salad dressing on the side and stick the tines of the fork into it, then spear the salad. I get the taste without the high amount! Report
I think Becky's tip about having a game plan and sticking to it is the best advice about eating out. When I can, I research the menu & find the healthiest options. Otherwise I now go to a restuarant and play a sort of game - find what's healthiest, set my mind and shut that menu!

I also love the idea of a salad and dessert. I have a sweet tooth and if a place has great desserts than I'm willing to pass up main course in favor of what I really want. Plus, most places have such big salads now that if I eat all of those veggies, most of the time I don't even need to eat the whole dessert. Report
CRICKETRO
I'm allergic to egg yolk which comes in handy when we go out; i ask them to remove the egg from ANY salad I order and of course, not serve the dressing at all (I use balsamic vinegar); I don't eat bread b/c they only provide white bread and i don't like it
I usually order grilled chicken/fish wt a salad and no side item. And no dessert. EVER! Report
FA_VIOLET
With the salad dressing on the side...The best way to beat the salad dressing blues by using to much dressing, is to lightly dip your fork into the dressing then into the salad. Report
COSETTEWORLD
When you get the dressing on the side you often end up eating more than if you were to toss the salad with a little bit of dressing. If you are at a decent restaurant they will not drown your salad in dressing anyway. If you are at some cheap restaurant where they do, ask them to toss it with very, very light dressing or take a little bit out of the side portion then send it back to the kitchen. I can't tell you how many times I have seen people ask for dressing on the side then use four times what we use when we toss it in the kitchen. Report
STITCHNMOMMA
I work in the corporate office of a franchise for a national pizza chain and I'm always in the restaurants. This information is very beneficial in helping me make the right choices with food constantly around me! :-) Report

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