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Dining Out While on Your Diet

Updated on January 4, 2015

Eat out and Don't Worry

Enjoy the dining out experience
Enjoy the dining out experience
Enjoy a glass of wine while dining out
Enjoy a glass of wine while dining out

Dine Out and Stay on your Diet

You can remain faithful to your diet while enjoying a meal in a restaurant. Dining out is often a special occasion, and if you are worrying about every bite you eat, this can eliminate the entire pleasure from the dining experience. You can avoid giving into temptation while dining out and still enjoy a delicious meal, enjoy your dining companions and take in the ambiance.

Today most restaurants offer a wide variety of prepared food to suit special dietary needs. You can find gluten free, fat free and sodium free choices on the menu. Restaurants generally want your business so they will prepare tasty dishes for your taste and needs. You can call the restaurant ahead of time to make sure there will be enough choices for you, and you can also request that they cook your dinner without fats, salt and sugar.

Choosing A Restaurant

If you are dining with other people, there will be some chatter about where to go. You can always find healthy and low calorie selections in most restaurants. The only problem to deal with is your own temptation. Can you go to an Italian restaurant and not order spaghetti and meatballs? The good news is that most tomato based sauces are not as high in calories as cream sauces, however there is the pasta and meatballs to deal with. You can always ask the server that your selection be served sauce free. And if all else fails and you have no will power try to get your dining guests to go to a health food restaurant. I am just kidding on this suggestion.

Make Wise Choices when Dining Out

Take your time with a large salad
Take your time with a large salad
A bowl of warm soup helps curb the appetite
A bowl of warm soup helps curb the appetite
Eat lots of filling veggies
Eat lots of filling veggies
Have a piece of fruit for dessert
Have a piece of fruit for dessert

What to Wear

This may sound trivial but wearing the proper clothes when dining out is an important factor in managing the food intake. It is best not to wear anything with an expandable waistline that will allow you too much room to eat. A snug band (but not too tight) will help you eat more slowly and less food. It is kind of your own lap band for the night. Following this rule alone will help you gauge your food intake.

Before you Dine Out

Before you go out to dinner and perhaps you are already suffering from hunger pangs, it is a good idea to drink some tomato juice as it is very filling. Fix yourself a cup of bouillon, as sipping on a warm beverage helps to ease hunger. Being ravenous when heading into a restaurant is a red flag for overeating.

Order a Large Salad or Soup

Start your meal with a vegetable salad. The salad will keep you busy while waiting for the main course. Be sure to ask for vinegar and oil in the separate bottles. Stay away from the creamy and cheesy salad dressings. These dressings may be yummy but contain a meal's worth of calories. Don't order the low calorie dressings as they often have sugar instead of fat. You can season your salad with salt and pepper. Or you may want to opt for a bowl of soup. Make sure the soup is broth base or tomato based. Stay away from the calorie laden cream soups. And again warm liquid often staves off the hunger.

Try Fish or even Chicken

Order Fish or Chicken Breast

Most restaurants offer a wide selection of fish or chicken. Sometimes restaurants have a separate menu for low calorie, low fat and gluten free choices. You can always ask how the food is prepared. Even an innocuous chicken breast can be loaded with fat and salt. Restaurants want the food to look and taste good, because they want your business.

Think about the Bread

Check out the Bread

The big basket of hot bread has arrived. Of course there are often small bowls of butter to accompany the basket. Your choice here. If you can resist that is the best thing. My deal with bread is that if it is not my favorite which is french or sour dough why waste the calories. And then I will take a small crusty piece with no butter. You can always ask the server to bring the bread after the salad is served and there will be less temptation.

Eat Slowly

The most enjoyable part to your dining experience is to savor the food. You can do this by eating slowly. You can always talk a lot and bore everyone or just concentrate on small bites. Seriously, I know I have been ravenous when going out to dinner and sometimes inhale the food. Eating slowly is always a good idea when trying to drop a few pounds.

Make substitutes

You can always make substitutes with your food choices. Most restaurants will accommodate your wishes. Order double vegetables instead of a starch such as potatoes or rice. I always go the veggie route as I actually prefer vegetables to starchy foods. And again you can ask them how the veggies are prepared. Very often these innocent looking vegetables are laden with butter. Try asking the server to have the vegetables served plain.

Sip your wine and coffee slowly


Have a glass of wine if you enjoy an adult beverage. Sip the wine very slowly. Contrary to poular belief it does not increase your appetite and the calories are worth it. A glass of wine adds some festivity and ambiance to your meal.

Tea or Coffee to end the Dinner

While everyone is ordering desserts, order a cup of coffee or tea. You can sip the warm beverage and pat yourself on the back. You can always bum a taste from someone's dessert and really become unpopular. Eat a piece of fruit when you get home to satisfy your sweet tooth, and all the temptation will be gone. And the scale will thank you for keeping true to your diet.


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    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      How to Lose Weight While Dining Out so well suggested ideas, and can really individuals who put heir minds on losing their weight.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Chyy2910 ..thank you for stopping by.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      torrilynn: THanks for stopping by and nice comments and votes. Yes you can lose weight while dining out if you know what to order and what not to eat...

    • torrilynn profile image


      6 years ago

      carol7777, i never knew that you could lose weight while dining out. great information and tips. thanks. voted up.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Bake like a PRo...Thank you so much and I know the scent of good food is alone to sabotage a diet or healthy eating. why stress and enjoy a taste of this or that. Thanks for votes and sharing.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      mperrottet: Thank you so much..I always check out the bread and if it something irresistible like sour dough..I will have a piece. Why eat something mediocre??? Thanks for votes and shares.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      dghbrh...Thank you so much I appreciate the votes and sharing and all of your wonderful friendship and support.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Kathryn...thank you so much. I think it is important when on a diet not to fear restaurants and say you won't go. There are always healthy selections. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 

      6 years ago from San Antonio, FL

      It's the bread that's always my downfall. These are some great tips, Carol. Voted up, useful - and sharing.

    • dghbrh profile image


      6 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

      Wow....such nice and simple ways to maintain while even Eating that is something very interesting sure. Its looks quite practical and easy to follow also. Thank you for this hub. I am sharing it across and votes all +++++++++++++

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image


      6 years ago from Windsor, Connecticut

      This is great! I have gone to a restaurant before while on a diet, and sometimes even when I am not I will make sure I am careful of what I eat. Restaurants are known for their high calorie and high-fat foods.

      Thanks for writing an article with so many tips on eating healthy in a restaurant. I am sharing this.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Thank you Rajan Jolly: Staying in shape is a matter of planning and some discipline

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Impressive list of eats to take care of the pounds. Well said!

      Voted up and shared.

    • Bake Like a Pro profile image

      Bake Like a Pro 

      7 years ago

      Great tips Carol. It's hard to resist temptations when you are at a restaurant where you can see and smell the food others have ordered. Sticking to your tips makes the restaurant experience stress free if one is worried about gaining weight. Voted up and sharing. Thank you!

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      7 years ago from Arizona

      Thanks for dropping in and commenting!!!

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      7 years ago from Arizona

      Thanks Peg: I also take food home from restaurants...I try to follow what I suggest.. Staying in good shape is important to me. Thanks for the nice compliments and stopping in.

    • ARUN KANTI profile image


      7 years ago from KOLKATA

      In view of rising obesity one has to be very choosy in dining out when taking food carefully avoiding temptations is difficult.I may add that taking plain water may also fill the stomach to some extent. Thanks for sharing the useful information.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      7 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Hi Carol7777, Your excellent tips are sound practices when dining out. I used to travel a lot with my job and eating out at a restaurant was expected when entertaining customers etc.. or just stuck in a hotel away from home.

      When my friend lost 100 pounds she found the ideal solution was to take half of her dinner home and use it for an additional meal. The portions at restaurants are what we used to put on the table for a family of five. Also, when people eat out, they like to treat themselves to a dessert. I found that customers liked to order appetizers as well, since the meal was "free". Unfortunately the calories are not.

      Quite useful information.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      7 years ago from Arizona

      Eating out is a pleasure and for me it is the company and not having to cook dinner.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      7 years ago from Arizona

      faythef,,Eating out is always temptation to let our hair down and start the diet the next day. However, eating out does not have to cause panic. Thanks for stopping by.

    • joanwz profile image

      Joan Whetzel 

      7 years ago

      Great tips. I've used one or two of these. I'll have to try out some of the others.

    • faythef profile image

      Faythe Payne 

      7 years ago from USA

      great tips...I know I have to be careful when dining out...


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