Getting in Shape

advice - eating out?

Here's the biggest obstacle in my diet:

My family eats out a lot, so I do as well. I live at home still, which is why this matters more.

I have lunch or dinner with my grandfather a lot, which is wonderful I love the time with him, but he only likes to go out to eat.

I have such a hard time trying to find something on the menu that would be good for me to eat. I'm always appalled when I see the "healthy" options, because they really aren't good for you at all.

Would it be better to just opt out of going out to eat at all?

Re: advice - eating out?

  • I'm definitely no expert in this category however I know that opting out of these meals would be a huge bummer for you and eventually you'll cheat or become sad because you treasure these dinners. Besides, who wants to eat at home by themselves when your whole family is eating out?
    I learned this trick when I worked at a nutrition place...On days that you know you're going to eat out, eat alot of protein and try to lay off the carbs before you get to dinner. Start with a hard boiled egg for breakfast and continue to eat lean protiens throughout the day. It will help spike your metabolism so that you can better burn those eat-out calories.
    I too am appalled when I see the "healthy eating" options on menus. So what I do, is try and order a salad-which I hate doing EVERY time. So generally, I will order the healthiest thing I can, and then just eat a portion. Then hop back on your healthy eating wagon the following day.
    That's the best advice I can come up with. HTH!
  • Don't be afraid to eat out.  The keys to eating out are looking for key words on the menu like grilled and steamed, avoiding add ons like cheese, sour cream, mayo, etc and eating healthy portions.  

    When I go out to eat, I usually look for nutritional information online before I go so that I can see what options are low calorie and low sodium.  When I get salad, I usually get grilled meats and ask them not to add cheese, bacon, croutons or other items that will add a lot of calories.  I also go for a viniagrette and ask for it on the side.  Believe it or not, salads are often one of the high calorie items on the menu of most restaurants! 

    I almost always leave a restaurant with 1/2 of my meal wrapped to go.  

    Another tip is to drink a full glass of water before heading to the restaurant so that you aren't super hungry (which will help you to make better choices).

    I hope this helps!
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  • I am also no expert on this, but I eat out a lot, as well.

    1. I try to eat something small before I actually go to the restaurant.  This way, I'm not starving when I get there and am less likely to order something huge and bad for me.

    2. I order what I want, but try to ensure that there are vegetables on the side.  No fries or chips.  Bonus if it's raw vegetables - like tomatoes.  Who knows what restaurants do to grilled veggies.

    3. I try to aim for the "healthier" options and definitely listen to when I'm satisified (not incredibly full).  If I'm not feeling a healthier option (sometimes you really want a burger!) then I eat half the burger and ask for extra sliced tomatoes on the side.

    4. I also limit how much bread I eat when I'm out. 

    In reality, I'm just okay at this.  You're going to slip up because restaurants are full of yummy, calorie-rich food so just do the best you can and don't become upset if over-indulge. 


  • I never thought of looking up the nutritional value online, so that is a good idea, thank you!

    I really do eat out too much though. Once in a while, would not be bad at all. But in the summertime when I'm working full time I can have lunch every single day of the week. So that's 7 days in a row.

    I find it harder to resist bad foods when I'm out too. But I'll see what I can find looking up online!

    I never eat my entire served meal in a restaurant, I always pack up half of it. I always feel full, the portions are far too large!

  • I ask for a box when I order, and immediately pack 1/2 of it to take home.  The food is off the plate, so I won't be tempted to finish it there.  And, I sometimes order an appetizer instead of an entree.  Smaller portion, and often healthier if it includes raw vegetables.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_getting-shape_advice-eating-out?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:238Discussion:b35087ff-a05d-4206-96a5-3f7c01935c5cPost:1de33b48-f593-4d7f-b21f-67436915e90f">Re: advice - eating out?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I never thought of looking up the nutritional value online, so that is a good idea, thank you!
    Posted by heyimbren[/QUOTE]


    Oh, that works *well*.  The other day I was running to dunkin donuts for my fiance.  I was like "I've been so good for so long, I'll just get a chocolate chip muffin."  Then I looked up how many calories where in said muffin.  That stopped me in my tracks right there!
  • tldhtldh member
    2500 Comments
    I check the nutritional info on line.  Chain restaurants are supposed to be putting this on the menus now.  FI and I were in The Hard Rock Cafe last month and nearly fell off our chairs at the calorie counts.  We changed our minds about what we wanted to eat very quickly.
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    AKA GoodLuckBear14
  • You can also try ordering from the "a la carte" section of the menu--a lot of places will happily sell you just an order of steamed vegetables or a small baked potato. Most places will even let you buy a plain chicken breast if you ask; I have a friend with some significant dietary restrictions, and I have never seen her be denied "plain" food when she asks for it.


  • I have high cholesterol, so I have a Cholesterol Counter book I keep in my car. They sell ones for calories and fat content, etc. In the back it has all of the popular foods for most restaurant chains. They're $13 at Barnes & Noble.

    One book I really want to get is "Eat This, Not That." It suggests substitutes for foods you want that are really close and a whole lot healthier. It compares muffins to bagels, bacon to sausage, grilled to fried chicken sandwiches and such. Good luck :)
    ~Weeds are just flowers without an invitation.~
  • Get the book Eat this, Not that.

    It's great.  It tells you every restaurant and gives you healthy, low calorie options that you better for you than most of the other junk on the menu.

    SERIOUSLY!! Did you know that a chicken noodle soup appetizer is like 700 calories and I think like 2,000 grams of sodium???

    Crazy, so it says skip that.  You would think it would be a healthy app but it's not.  There are so many hidden fats in foods that you would think are pretty innocent.

    You can see a lot of examples online if you type in Eat This, Not that.. and sometimes they have it at men's health if you google that.

    but the book has a lot more choices.

    You can still eat out, but def make smarter choices
    [IMG]http://i52.tinypic.com/hx7ztv.jpg[/IMG]
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_getting-shape_advice-eating-out?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:238Discussion:b35087ff-a05d-4206-96a5-3f7c01935c5cPost:854a05b8-4d5f-4061-ab79-212fa214ff45">Re: advice - eating out?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I ask for a box when I order, and immediately pack 1/2 of it to take home.  The food is off the plate, so I won't be tempted to finish it there.  And, I sometimes order an appetizer instead of an entree.  Smaller portion, and often healthier if it includes raw vegetables.
    Posted by LesPaul[/QUOTE]
    ^ This, exactly, is what I do, especially when I really am burning to indulge in something a bit heavier than what I eat at home.

    We are sort of socialized to take our cue to stop eating when our plate is empty.  By removing half the food from it before you start to eat, you eat the remainder a bit more slowly and can still enjoy your meal.  Trust me, with how large portions are in most restaurants, you will still feel full by the time you leave!
    "Plus who needs a purse when you have a wedding dress? Those things are like walking hobo bags just waiting to be stuffed with surprise treasures." -Wedinator.com image
  • If you know where you are going to eat ahead of time, you can go online and look up nutritional information.  Lots of restaurants have that listed on their website. 

    If you can't do that, order light.  If you usually order pop, get a water and a pop.  Make yourself drink as much (or more) water than pop.  Order a salad before your meal.  It might help fill you up a bit as opposed to being 'starved' when you start to eat-- this can cause overeating.  Anything you can get diet, or light, do so.  Also, if they have a kid's size or half-sized portion, take it.  Most restaurants serve meals that are way too big for the average person anyways.  Hope this helps and good luck.  You can do it!
  • I eat out all the time for work and other social events.

    I second what other people have said. For me, it's not about fat, it's about carbs and white foods. Period.

    I generally eat lightly on either side of the meal and eat protein rather than carbs.

    For dinners out, if it's Mexican, I eat chicken tortilla soup and go easy on the tortillas. If  it's American, I eat steak with steamed veggies.

    I've lost about 15lbs in two months doing this, but you can't use the eating out as an excuse to blow it. Every meal, every day counts.

    I still have small bites of things I really want, but they are tiny. No seconds.
  • This is often where I sometimes fail. Especially if I go to a new restaurant, I always get scared I won't like something and go with the old reliable chicken sandwich and fries and soda. I definitely need to take some of this advice. The one thing I ALWAYS do is resolve to take home leftovers. 
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