How can anyone lose weight while eating out? If you do all of your restaurant dining in fast food joints, all-you-can-eat buffets and good old southern deep-fried chicken diners, consider the question moot.
However, if you do eat out frequently at places with more moderate menus, and find your belt getting tighter and tighter lately, there’s a chance you can do something about losing weight without abandoning your favorite restaurant.
1. Walk it off: If your restaurant is at least a mile from your home or workplace, bike, walk and/or jog both ways to have your meal there. That will at least get you some useful exercise, and it could induce you to eat a bit less so your after-dinner walk/jog/bike will be a bit easier.
2. Salad is for waiting: When you’re seated at the booth or table and the wait person has taken your dinner order, don’t accept the usual plate loaded with bread and butter, rolls, saltines or bread sticks to wolf down until the meal arrives. Ask for a small, lightly-seasoned salad or a plate of raw veggies. Then, instead of scarfing down bread and butterwhile you wait, you can munch on low-calorie celery and carrot sticks.
3. The usual is too much: Probably you’re in your favorite restaurant is not just because it serves good food, but also because the portions are usually substantial. If you want to lose weight and still patronize your favorite, ask for smaller portions . Many restaurant menus list their main courses that way, with lower prices for the reduced size.
4. If you or the restaurant management insist on serving the usual humungous slab of steak, half a big chicken or two-pound salmon wedge, don’t just sit there and eat it all. Put half of it into a doggie bag and take it home. Nothing tastes so good than last night’s leftovers, especially when you know it helped in your weight-loss attempt.
5. Keep it lean: If your middle has been growing lately, you don’t need a dietician to tell you what foods not to eat when you want to lose weight. Simply stay away from the worst: fatty meats, creamed soups, pastas, fried food and heavily buttered side dishes. Omit pies, cake and ice cream. Instead order a dip of sorbet or fresh, unsugared fruit cup.
6. Buffets are from hell: If you decide go just once more or are talked into having dinner at a buffet restaurant, just say no. If you have a healthy appetite and are honest with yourself, you know you won’t lose weight when all that tempting food and umpteen helpings are staring at you.
If you’re determined to be honest with yourself, you can lose weight while eating out. Order only healthy food, stay away from high-calorie and fat dishes and take home that doggie bag.