How to eat out and still lose weight

This has always been one of the toughest things about losing weight: how do you eat out, and still lose weight?  I love going out to restaurants—so relaxing and fun!  But restaurants can be dangerous territory if you’re trying to lose weight: restaurants offer so many choices loaded with fat, salt and sugar (and they taste SO good).  The good news is that almost all restaurants now offer healthy choices that are delicious and satisfying!  All you have to do is plan a little bit, and develop new habits, like reminding yourself, just before you go in, that you’re going to relax and follow your diet, and not think twice about the cheeseburger and fries!  The first time you get a chicken salad, you will miss the cheeseburger, almost like you might miss a recent out-of-town visitor at your house.  But it won’t last long—soon, you’ll savor the feeling of accomplishment you get from making great choices!

A few tips:

  • Use the Internet to look at the menu before you go!  If possible, select your meal in advance.  Then there’s no temptation at the restaurant.  You sit down and say “I’m having the …[fill in the blank…grilled chicken Caesar salad?—yummy!]”  You won’t even have to look at all those other choices.
  • Another great tip that my mom insists helps her stay trim: ask for a doggy bag to be delivered at the same time your meal comes.  Put half your meal in the doggy bag right away!  When you’re done with what’s on your plate…stop!  Restaurant portions have a tendency to be too big, and, if you’re anything like me, it is hard to put down your fork when you’re satisfied…you often leave feeling stuffed, which is bad for your diet!
  • It goes without saying that you have to put in a little effort in choosing your meal.  Look for salads with low-cal dressings.  Avoid fried-foods, cheese (I know!  It’s awful…I love cheese too), pastas, and sweets.  Don’t worry; these aren’t permanant changes, ubt you have to develop some new tastes and habits!  And if you make a tough choice, and forego a delicious food in favor of a healthy one, you will be so proud of yourself—the feeling is better than the taste of the best foods!
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