If you’re trying to lose weight, whether it’s by calculating PointsPlus on Weight Watchers, counting calories on eDiets or SparkPeople, or following another healthy eating plan, you may be worried about eating out at restaurants.
If you’re trying to lose weight, whether it’s by calculating PointsPlus on Weight Watchers, counting calories on eDiets or SparkPeople, or following another healthy eating plan, you may be worried about eating out at restaurants. If you’ve started to see the calories showing up on some menus, you may be even more nervous.
Well, we’re here to take the worry out of eating at restaurants. Here are three common fears when dining out on a diet and strategies to help you overcome them:
Fear of temptation – The menu, covered in bright and mouth-watering food photos, can be tempting if you aren’t prepared. Preview the online menu and decide on your order before you go. Look at calories, fat, sodium and other nutrition info, as well as ingredients, on sites like HealthyDiningFinder to find a choice that will fit the bill. Once at the restaurant, you can then skip the menu and use the time to chat with friends and family instead.
Fear of peer pressure – Lots of us still like to “treat” ourselves to high-calorie and high-fat choices at restaurants, even when we dine out several times a week. Chances are that some of your friends and family may try to encourage you to order menu choices that don’t fit your goals. Stick to the choice you made before you got to the restaurant, be open about your goals and need for support, and if all else fails, dine out less often with the people that aren’t helping support your goals. Who knows, you may end up being a trendsetter!
Fear of overeating – Making a smart menu choice before getting to the restaurant will help alleviate this fear, but for higher calorie or “point” choices or spur of the moment dining, try these additional tips:
- Split your meal with a friend.
- Pair veggies and other lower calorie sides for smaller meals.
- Choose from the smaller portions menu that many restaurants now offer.
- Ask for a to-go box with your meal and portion some away for leftovers before digging in.
What are your fears about dining out on a diet? What are your tips and tricks for sticking to your diet at restaurants?
Our dietitians work diligently to find great-tasting choices that will fit into your weight-loss diet. Don’t give up on dining out! Search for restaurants in your area that serve Healthy Dining menu choices to view nutrition information and plan your order before you head out. Here are some choices you may want to try:
Grilled Shrimp Spiedini at Macaroni Grill
(380 calories, 9 g fat)
Thai Chicken Pizza (2 slices) at Yard House
(340 calories, 15 g fat, 580 mg sodium)
Located in AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, HI, IL, KS, MA, NC, NV, NY, OH, TX, VA, WA
Ultimate Club Salad at Blimpie
(270 calories, 14 g fat)
Ensalada de Camarones at Casa de Pico
(400 calories, 22 g fat)
Located in La Mesa, CA
Appetizer: Almond Crusted Seared Tuna (Serves 2) at F2O
(140 calories, 9 g fat, 50 mg sodium)
Located in GA, TN
Jessie’s Veggie Wrap at Jon’s Bar & Grille
(580 calories, 19 g fat)
Located in Philadelphia, PA