Maurice’s Complete Guide to Losing Weight While Eating Out

Deciding where to go when eating out is always a big family discussion. However, it can be even more difficult when you’re attempting to lose weight. While it may be hard to do, this is not an impossible task.

The key to eating out, as with most things, is to plan ahead, ask for what you want, take charge of what’s around you, and choose foods carefully.

When planning ahead, some steps to take include:

  • Calling restaurants or visiting their websites to find out about low-fat or low-calories menu items
  • Select a restaurant that offers the low-fat or low-calorie choices
  • Eat less fat and fewer calories than usual during other meals during the day when you plan to eat out in the evening, or eat less for whichever two meals you are not eating out (i.e. eat less for breakfast and dinner if going to lunch)
  • Eat a small, healthy snack or drink a large, low-calorie or zero calorie beverage before going out
  • Pick out what you want before you get to the restaurant and do not look at the menu when you get there
  • Do not drink alcohol before eating
  • For parties or dinner parties, bring a healthy, low-fat, and low-calorie dish to share with others
    • Some examples of low-calorie foods offered at both sit down restaurants and fast food restaurants include:
      • Chipotle
        • Chicken, Pinto Bean, Tomato Salsa and Fajita Veggie Salad, no dressing 345 calories, 8.5 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 990 mg sodium, 32 g carbs, 14.5 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 41 g protein
      • Panera Bread
        • Half Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT and Half Classic Cafe Salad with Asian Sesame Vinaigrette 495 calories, 20 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 645 mg sodium, 35 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 20 g protein
      • Red Lobster
        • Live Maine Lobster Served with Corn on the Cob, Baby Gold Potatoes, and a Side Salad 420 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 1,500 mg sodium, 35 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 11 g sugar, 60 g protein
      • Outback Steakhouse
        • Victoria’s 6-ounce Filet Mignon with sides of Asparagus and House Salad 388 calories, 18.9 g fat (7 g saturated fat, 0.7 g trans fat), 15 g carbs, 5.2 g fiber, 42.7 g protein
      • Applebee’s
        • Pepper-Crusted Sirloin & Whole Grains 370 calories, 10 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 1,540 mg sodium, 43 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 28 g protein
      • Olive Garden
        • Herb-Grilled Salmon with Garlic-Herb Butter and Parmesan-Garlic Broccoli 460 calories, 28 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 570 mg sodium, 8 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 26 g protein
      • Chick-Fil- A
        • Grilled Market Salad with Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette 430 calories, 24 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 1,030 mg sodium, 33 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 23 g sugar, 23 g protein
      • Sonic
        • Classic Grilled Chicken Sandwich 450 calories, 17 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 1,240 mg sodium, 44 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 32 g protein
      • Starbucks (Food)
        • Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon Breakfast Sandwich 230 calories, 6 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 560 mg sodium, 28 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 13 g protein
      • Moe’s Southwest Grill
        • Homewrecker Jr. with Chicken, Rice, Beans, Cheese, Pico de Gallo, Lettuce, Guacamole, on a Flour Tortilla 490 calories, 16 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 1,390 mg sodium, 59 g carbs, 11 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 28 g protein

Ask for What You Want

  • You can always make requests at restaurants. It is their job to fulfill them.
    • You can ask for low-fat or low-calorie foods
    • Ask if foods can be cooked in a different way
    • Do not be afraid to ask for foods that are not on the menu
    • Ask about the serving size
    • Order dressings, gravy, sauces, or spreads on the side
    • Ask for less/no cheese
    • Split the main dish or dessert with someone else
    • Order a small size (appetizer, children’s size, half portion)
    • Before or after the meal, have the amount you do not want to eat put in a container to take home
    • If the order is not what you liked, do not be afraid to ask for what you asked for

Taking Charge of What’s Around You

  • Be the first to order
    • You’re less likely to order unhealthy meals that other people order
  • Keep foods off the table that you do not want to eat
    • Ask the server to remove bread and butter from the table
  • Ask the server to remove your plate as soon as you finish
    • You’ll be less likely to pick at the leftover food on your plate when you’re already full

Choose Food Carefully

  • High-Fat Words
    • Au gratin
    • Breaded
    • Buttered or Buttery
    • Cheese Sauce
    • Creamed, creamy, cream sauce
    • Fried, deep fried, French fried, batter fried, pan fried
    • Gravy
    • Hollandaise
    • Parmesan
    • Pastry
    • Rich
    • Sautéed
    • Escalloped
    • Scalloped
    • Seasoned
    • Southern Style
  • Low-Fat Words
    • Baked
    • Broiled
    • Boiled
    • Grilled
    • Poached
    • Roasted
    • Steamed
    • Stir-Fried