little preparation, you can enjoy your dining out experience while
remaining on your weight management plan. Drink a Slim•Fast Shake or
similar type for 2 meals on the days that you are dining out, and
follow the guidelines below for a pleasurable and nutritious restaurant
arrive at the restaurant hungry - eat a piece of fruit or a serving of
vegetables before you leave the house to avoid overindulging on the
breadbasket or entrée.
- Be careful of alcoholic beverages - alcohol often stimulates your appetite, and the calories can add up quickly.
ahead of time what type of restaurant you will patronize: Thai,
Japanese, Greek, and Indian cuisines are often naturally lower in fat
and calories than Mexican, Italian and French cuisines.
for sensible possibilities! Try ordering your burrito without cheese,
or replacing French fries with a baked potato. *Request more veggies
and less pasta, or try the vegetarian option on the menu.
be afraid to ask the waiter for options and suggestions. Restaurants
are aware and interested in pleasing their customers, and will most
likely accommodate any requests you have.
a salad for an appetizer and mixed fruit for dessert. Make sure to
avoid the creamy salad dressings, and ask for the dressing to be served
on the side so that you have control over how much is added!
your meal the next day, as well! As soon as your entrée arrives at the
table, cut a portion away that you can bring home in a doggie bag.
ethnic restaurants with various cuisines are popular dining options.
Most, if not all, offer healthy, lower-fat choices. Here are some tips
to guide you through making healthier selections. Remember, if you do
not understand a word or menu terminology, ask. Your wait staff is
there to help.
Tips for eating in a Chinese Restaurant:
sizes are usually huge. Split an entrée or do what the Chinese do: eat
from your bowl of rice, adding one bite of entree to the bowl at a
- Take home extras in a doggie bag.
the waiter to reduce the amount of oil used in the wok; request chicken
broth instead of oil for stir-fry and sautéed dishes.
Tips for eating in a French Restaurant:
- Portion sizes are slightly smaller, with the emphasis on quality, not quantity.
you are not familiar with the French language or commonly used French
food terminology, ask your waiter how a dish is prepared.
cuisine is famous for rich sauces; mostly all dishes can be served
without the sauce. Ask for the sauce on the side, or skip it all
Tips for eating in a Mexican Restaurant:
- Take advantage of the healthier ingredients: salsa, plain beans, low fat sour cream (ask if available) and flour tortillas.
- Request that dishes be served without high fat condiments, such as guacamole, sour cream, and cheese.
- Ask for plain or boiled beans instead of refried, which are often fried in lard or oil.
Tips for eating in a Greek Restaurant:
of the oil used in salad dressings and cooking is olive oil, which is
high in (good) monounsaturated fats and lower in harmful saturated
- Portions can be very large, so ask for a doggie bag, or share an entrée.
sauce, a white cream sauce, is often served as a top layer on several
dishes. This sauce can easily be removed and placed on the side.
Tips for eating in an Italian Restaurant:
- Beware of large portions, especially for pasta dishes.
- Menus often feature a pasta course followed by a meat course. Choose one or the other; do not feel obligated to select both.
- Side orders of green salads, sautéed or steamed vegetables can be ordered a la carte to accompany a pasta dish.
bread is almost always put on the table accompanied by a large bottle
of olive oil. Allow yourself a helping and remove the temptation by
asking to have the rest removed.
sauces, such as marinara, Neapolitan and primavera are often lower in
fat than cream based sauces, such as Alfredo and Carbonara
Tips for eating in an Indian Restaurant:
Indian cooking features items cooked Tandoori-style, in a clay oven.
Milder spices are used. Southern Indian style of cooking incorporates
more vegetables and legume (peas and beans) dishes.
(clarified butter), coconut milk and cream, all very high in saturated
fats, are often used, especially in vegetable dishes. Request that a
minimum amount of fat be used when placing your order.
Tips for eating in a Japanese Restaurant:
- Japanese dishes are most often broiled, steamed, marinated, braised or simmered, resulting in low-fat dishes.
- Many vegetable choices are available; steamed rice or plain noodles are prominent.
- Sodium content may be high, due to the use of marinades, soy sauce and pickling spices. Request that MSG not be used.
- Smaller portions can be ordered by asking for appetizers instead of entrée portions