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When you go out to restaurants, chances are that its menu is loaded with several diet busting options. You may find just one or two healthier options, while rest of the menu offers things that are high in calories and fat. Most people eat out some time and some people eat out all the time. Even eating out two or three times a week can derail your plan. The good news is that with a little knowledge, you can put together a healthier meal at almost any restaurant.

The Delicatessen

A deli offers more control over what you eat. Most of the time, you are able to build your own sandwich. Choose whole grain breads such as whole wheat, rye or pumpernickel. Meats at the deli can be high in salt. Choose low fat turkey or low fat ham over pepperoni, salami and genoa. Go easy on the cheeses. Have lots of veggies such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and spinach or lettuce.

Chinese Places

Chinese restaurants offer lots of food high in sugary sauces. Stay away from deep fried foods such as egg rolls, fried shrimp, chicken wings, chicken fingers and crab rangoon. Also avoid foods that are dripping in sauces such as sweet and sour chicken or pork. Choose foods with less meat and less sauce like brown rice and vegetables. Boiled, steamed or lightly stir fried seafood, chicken, vegetable or bean curd dishes are better options.

Italian Restaurants

Choose pasta with marinara sauce instead of the creamy white or butter sauces such as Alfredo. Choose dishes like chicken cacciatore or piccata, grilled meat or fish, grilled eggplant pomodoro or polenta and mushrooms. Avoid pastas stuffed with cheese or meat and topped with cheese. Bear in mind that “parmigiana” style translates to higher fat. If you like pizza, watch your portions and choose thin crust whenever possible.

Mexican Places

Choose salsa as dips instead of a sour cream or cheese dips. Dishes like gazpacho soup, black bean soup or jicama with salsa are good choices. Choose dishes made with plain, soft tortillas and pick baked entrees. Corn tortillas and Mexican rice are also good choices.

The Pub

Pub fare is usually the hamburgers, onion rings and French fries. You can still find something healthy at the pubs. Choose barbecued or grilled chicken, pot roast, meat loaf with tomato sauce, filet mignon, sirloin steak or turkey pita sandwich. Pubs are also generous with their portions, so go easy even when you order lean.

Whatever type of restaurant you choose, remember that dining out is supposed to be a pleasant experience. Almost all restaurants can make slight changes to the preparation method to accommodate you. Watch your portions even when you order healthy as it can add the calories also. Bring home leftovers or share with a friend or family. You should not feel pressured to eat the entire meal.


Category : Weight Loss Guides

6 Customer Reviews of “Eat Smart when Eating Out”

Review by Nova, April 19, 2012

These are some very good tips but what do you do if you go to these places and you are following a low carb diet? Like the Mexican place, tortillas have a lot of carbs in them and the Italian place is practically a no no all together because pasta is really bad in carbs. Do you have any good tips for that dieter? You have done an excellent job here thank you.

Review by Jonathon, April 20, 2012

This was a really great article I have been on a life changing mission the past few years and one of the biggest road blocks I have come across is eating in a restaurant. I am getting really tired of salads and that is all you can eat because you don’t know how it is prepared. This will help me a lot to make those decisions in an educated manner. Thank you so much.

Review by Peter, April 21, 2012

When I go out to restaurants, the last thing I am thinking about is my diet. In fact, the only thing I am thinking about is taste and trying something that I can’t get at home. I guess I take this care free approach because of how rarely I go out to dinner. When you spend so much time at home preparing your own meals, you want to savor the dining experience when it does happen.

Review by Jason, April 23, 2012

I agree with Peter. I too agree that when I go out to eat, I am prepared to fully enjoy the kinds of foods prepared by a cuisine expert that I cannot get at home or prepare myself. But even for persons like us who don’t rally worry about eating when you are out, you can still apply these nutrition principles to your everyday diet. These are the sort of fundamental principles that keep you lean.

Review by Perry, April 24, 2012

Once you are familiar with the basic principles of dieting such as the ones listed in this article, you can almost instinctively know what sort of foods to order. Once you’ve done a good amount of reading about nutrition and you work out and understand how your body reacts to different exercises, you can get a good idea of what to consume and ho much of it to eat. I know because I’ve developed that ability.

Review by Richard, April 25, 2012

I am sorry but I would have to agree with one of the readers that when I go out to eat to one of my favorite eateries or an upscale restaurant, I want to get my money’s worth and I want to order whatever captures my fancy, without concerning myself with calories or the ingredients. I want to focus on savoring the taste of the high priced meal I am about to pay money for.

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