Eat Out and Still Lose Weight: 7 Simple Tips for Dieting At Restaurants

Posted: Jun 11 in Health And Wellness, Nutrition, Weight loss, Weight Management Strategies by

We all know sticking to a healthy diet can be tough.  That’s especially true when you’re dining at restaurants where plenty of diet-busting items fill the menu.  However, it is possible to enjoy a nice meal out and stay on course with your weight-loss goals.  Here are seven simple tips for dieting at restaurants:

1. Know the facts. 

More and more restaurants are printing nutritional information right on the menu.  Take advantage of having the numbers in front of you by comparing the fat and calorie counts of a few favorite dishes.  You could even plan ahead by looking up the facts online.  That way you’ll know what to order before you even pull into the parking lot.

2. Split a meal.

Many popular eateries serve up giant portions that contain equally large amounts of calories.  Instead of eating everything yourself, try splitting an entrée with a friend or partner.  There will probably be more than enough food to go around and neither of you will leave the table feeling like you’re about to pop.  As a bonus, you can also save a bit of money.  You’ll keep more cash in your wallet as well as avoid breaking the caloric bank.

3. Skip the apps.

When you order an appetizer before your meal, you could be doing more damage to your diet than you think. Many apps contain more calories than actual entrées.  Plus, when you’re mindlessly munching chips and guacamole or reaching for that bread basket during a conversation, it’s easy to lose track of how much food you’ve truly eaten.  The belly flab that may result from those extra calories can be enough to make you lose your appetite.

4. Soup’s on. 

If you’re the type of person who struggles with constant hunger, restaurants can be a dangerous place.  You may be tempted to keep ordering dish after dish until you feel satisfied.  Instead of asking for half of the menu, consider getting a bowl of soup as part of your main course.  Studies show that consuming hot liquid during a meal can help you feel full faster and prevent overeating.  Throw in a voluminous salad with light dressing and you’ll fill up without filling out.

5. Spice things up. 

Ordering a spicy dish is another trick for controlling your hunger.  Hot peppers contain capsaicin that can curb your appetite.  In addition, the peppery punch of heat-packed dishes is a flavorful way to satisfy your taste buds.  Try ordering a grilled chicken breast with a cayenne-based Cajun seasoning or add a few sliced jalapenos to some baked tilapia.  Spicing things up may help you keep your weight down.

6. Drink lots of water.

Thirst is often mistaken for hunger.  While you should avoid high-calorie beverages like sodas and margaritas, there’s no reason you can’t guzzle as much water as you want.  By staying hydrated throughout your meal, you’ll likely reduce the amount of food you consume and flush any extra sodium out of your system.  Getting rid of unnecessary water weight can help you flatten your belly and feel better!

7. Savor the moment. 

If you’re going out for a night on the town, you should always relax and enjoy yourself.  It typically takes about 20 minutes for the brain to register a sense of fullness.  Eat slowly, chew thoroughly and put your fork down between bites.  Focus on talking, laughing and having a good time.  You may be surprised at how much you’ll leave on your plate.

Dining out can be a dieting disaster if you aren’t careful.  Fortunately, it’s easy to stay on track with your weight-loss goals while eating at restaurants.  By using these simple tips, you can go out with your family and friends without adding any pounds on the scale.  Give these tricks a try and you’ll find it’s possible to eat great and still lose weight!

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