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Can You Achieve Your Weight Loss Goals While Eating At Restaurants?

Helen Bush

Most of us think that in order to achieve our weight loss goals, we have to stop going out to eat. We assume that we will have better portion control and consume a lot less calories by cooking our own meals.

However, going out to eat is fun and it's actually not necessary at all to eliminate this activity in order to keep losing weight!

So, how can you celebrate with friends and family or go to a required job function without sabotaging your weight loss goals? There are a few things you can do to limit the amount of damage done to your new healthy lifestyle and still manage to get out of the house at the same time.



  • Skip the sodas and opt for water. In one short meal, one can easily consume an extra 300 calories of pure empty calories by guzzling soft drinks or sweet tea. This can add up to almost 90,000 calories a year, which is around an extra 25 pounds!  So, by choosing water, you can eliminate some of the excess calories and sugar from your meal. Remember to drink a full glass of water with every meal and every snack.

  • Put down your fork in between bites. This method is perfect for helping you to realize if you are still actually hungry. Our brains have a lag time of about twenty minutes when it comes to sending our bodies a signal that we are full. This lag time is crucial in controlling your weight. If you can find a way to eat a bit slower, your brain will be able to catch up to your body, and you will find that you may not need as much food as you think to satiate your body. This can easily put an end to overeating and, of course, food comas.

  • Look for "healthy" options and order the smallest sizes. These days most restaurants are now offering healthy choices. Opt for grilled proteins, not battered and fried. Opt for oil based dressings, rather than creamy based. Opt for the least processed carbohydrate options: such as a plain pasta or roasted potato rather than a casserole type of carb. Remember to modify! If the perfect sandwich comes with cheese and a creamy ranch sauce, simply ask your server to omit the creamy sauce so you can stay spot on!

  • Don't skip meals. Skipping meals will ensure that you'll be famished by the time your food gets to you and you'll most likely overeat in that moment. Always eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day to keep this from happening to you.
  • Drop out of the "clean plate club". Most restaurants have a skewed view of the proper portion sizes. In fact, many surveys have shown that most restaurants have even enlarged their plates just to fit more food on them. So, if you want to lose weight, you should plan on not  eating everything on your plate. Ask in advance for a to go box, and immediately put half in the box before you begin eating. You can also split your meal with a friend.  This way you avoid temptation and can be sure that you do not overindulge.

  • Skip the appetizers and dessert. It's pretty simple. Dessert and appetizers are loaded with calories that you just don't need. If you don't order these, you'll save in your wallet and your waistline.

  • Split your plate into thirds. Load one third with lean protein (chicken, fish or lean beef. Don't opt for any fried versions here), a little more than one third with complex carbs (rice, pasta, potato) and then allow for a small amount of healthy dietary fat (tablespoon of oil, small amount of cheese or tablespoon of vinegar based salad dressing). This is laid out in detail in your 9Round Nutrition plan, so refer back to that often! Check out this article for more information on that. 

Going out to eat with friends, family or work colleagues is suppose to be enjoyable, and most of us really do enjoy getting in that extra social time. So, go have fun, and just  follow these simple guidelines to stay on track while you do it!