Eat Out... But Eat Smart!

Woman Eating Out with Friends

There's nothing like letting someone else fix you a meal (not to mention doing the dishes). When you're trying to lose weight, though, restaurant meals can trip you up. Those delicious dishes are often loaded with sugar, fat and calories. But, eating smart will let you enjoy friends and family, as well as enjoy a chef's specialty. Check out these tips from the Metabolic Research Center to help you stay on course while dining out.

Start at the beginning; if possible, decide ahead of time (online menus) what you will have and don't even look at the menu at the restaurant. At breakfast, order coffee or tea immediately. Always add a glass of water to help fill you up. After all, thirst often sends similar signals to the brain. Refuse bread or chips if you're eating alone. In a group, make sure the bread basket doesn't wind up under your elbow, where it can be too tempting to resist. Precede lunch and dinner with a broth-based soup. A salad with dressing on the side or a simple oil and vinegar dressing is another way to begin your meal.

Cooking methods matter. Generally speaking, foods that are grilled, broiled or baked are a better choice that something fried or sauteed, because they are lower in fat. Foods that are battered and fried mean a double whammy, as the fat and oil-crisped batter simply add calories. Rich sauces are another possible pitfall, quickly adding calories because they tend to be loaded with fats like cream, cheese or butter.

Other tips and tricks can help you eat smart. Eat slowly and chew your food well. Put your fork down between bites. Talk to your dinner companions rather than focusing on your meal. Choose extra vegetables as sides rather than potatoes or rice, and fruit rather than an elaborate dessert. And of course, call us at the Metabolic Research Center for more ways to support your weight loss efforts.


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