Tips for Dining Out

For dieters, dining out at restaurants can be stressful. Not only does it present unneeded temptation, but restricted menu choice and a lack of information about how a kitchen prepares its food can make ordering a nightmare. Here are some tips for dining out and not only surviving but actually enjoying the experience.

  1. Start by choosing restaurants that offer flexible menus. You may need to pick and choose specific items to create a balanced meal that fits your dietary requirements.
  1. Research the menu beforehand by calling, visiting the restaurant’s website of physically dropping by. The information you gather will enable you to make a better restaurant selection and also plan your meal ahead of time.
  1. Do not eat at restaurants with buffets. Portion control goes out the window in the face of tables of enticing food, book-ended by glistening clean plates and silverware.
  1. Do order appetizers in place of full course meals. The selections often include healthy salads, while the portions are much smaller.
  1. Reduce the size of the meals you eat before going out. That way, you can enjoy a satisfying restaurant meal without the guilt.
  1. Ask the chef to broil, boil or roast instead of frying or cooking in oil. If you’ve done your homework and called ahead, you can make it easier for the kitchen to meet your request during busy mealtime periods.
  1. Salad dressings and other sauces are best ordered on the side. Take control and avoid the experience of seeing a favorite salad delivered with an undesired covering of high-calorie oils.
  1. Soups are delicious, filling and often low in calories. But remember that cream-based soups have higher fat content, so choose wisely.
  1. Eat only half your meal and take the other half home. Avoid temptation by asking your server to wrap up the take-home portion and store it in the kitchen fridge before serving you the other half at your table.
  1. If you plan to have dessert, choose a low-calorie option such as sorbet, fresh berries or fruit. If your craving is for a high-fat dessert, share one with a friend.