Beating Restaurants at Their Own Game!

Let s try to beat the restaurants at their own game.  It's no secret that as consumers -we want a bang for our buck. But, if we're watching our waists - its gets a little difficult when your favorite restaurant delivers our foods on platters rather than plates.  Or they bring out a basketful of tortilla chips or a breadbasket.

Use these tried and true suggestions the next time you step out for a meal

  • Never go out while hungry. You’ll find yourself nibbling on everything that comes your way.
  • Foods that are grilled, baked, steamed or broiled provide healthy, flavorful alternatives. Ask how an entrée is prepared to ensure that your selection is not drowning in butter or other fattening sauce.
  • For pasta selections, choose a marinara sauce instead of a white cream sauce.
  • Order a healthy appetizer, salad, or small-sized entrée for your meal.
  • Select white chicken or turkey meat rather than dark meat, and have the skin removed.
  • Avoid the "all you can eat" and buffet-style restaurants.
  • Split a meal with a friend.
  • Get a doggie bag before the meal and put in a portion of the food when it is first served.
  • Avoid foods that have been prepared in heavy cream.
  • Eat slowly! Put your fork down between bites. It takes the stomach about 20 minutes to realize that it is full.
  • Order your salad or potato with the dressing, butter, sour cream, gravy and other extras on the side. Remember, dip you fork in the dressing first.
  • Trim all visible fat from meat.
  • Select fresh fruit, sorbet or frozen yogurt for dessert. OR have a sliver or a spoonful of dessert.
  • Watch the alcohol… it is loaded with calories and can lower your defenses against food, causing you to eat more.
  • Beware of the breadbasket. It comes early and can be refilled several times. Ask that it be brought with the meal and limit yourself to one serving.
  • Water is your best beverage choice. Order diet pop, tea, and coffee with artificial sweetener. Go light on the sugar and cream.
  • Don’t be afraid to special order menu items. You're the boss --be in control!

The key is to plan what to order in advance and stick to it. Decide on your priorities before going to the restaurant and avoid looking at the entire menu.

Simply do the best you can with some smart choices. If you are there for the dessert --then order a light meal or a salad, with dressing on the side. With a few simple strategies, dining out does not have to totally destroy your dieting efforts.

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