02 March 2009

Weight Loss Weekly

Weight loss weekly is a weekly collaboration between me and three other bloggers who are trying to lose weight.  Join us every Monday as we discuss our strategies, successes and failures on our journeys to lose weight.

This week, Sunny from That Extra 20 Pounds asks:  "What are some secrets to staying on your diet while eating out?  What are your favorite restaurants to eat at when you're watching your weight that help you stay on track?"

My main order when I am eating out and trying to stay on track is soup.  A big bowl of steaming soup is usually inexpensive, lower in calories (than other offerings) and is probably higher in fiber.  Of COURSE sometimes there is just no getting around the lure of a hamburger, but if I order soup, it's easier for me to stay on track.  

I don't have a particular restaurant that I like to frequent, but I do tend to go for quieter restaurants.  When a restaurant is too bright or has loud music, I tend to eat faster and higher calorie things.  Hand in hand (it seems) with quiet restaurants are restaurants that are more expensive.  I tend to favor restaurants with a slightly higher price menu when I am dieting because the higher price tag means I am not going to wolf down my food.  Instead, I'm going to relax, enjoy each bite and enjoy the atmosphere.  Obviously I can't frequent restaurants that are more expensive, they are just easier for me to stay on track.

I also like ordering hot tea as my beverage in restaurants.  Restaurants will often serve hot tea in it's own little teapot.  The act of pouring the tea and keeping my cup full, keeps my hands busy and away from the bread basket!

Do you have any special tricks for eating out?  Please share!

My Weight Loss Weekly Collaborators are Nurit, Giyen and Sunny.  Check out the restaurant tips they have!


Anonymous said...

As luck would have it, we don't really eat out very often. I find, though, if I have the opportunity that if I go to quiet places, I definitely eat slower too!

Sheila said...

Sunny has a great idea. I always think of salad, but find it monotonous and think I deserve a better "treat" if I am going out for dinner. I will have to try this.

Berni at Yo-yonomore said...

Yes tea has often been a savior for me too. Thanks for the reminder about soup, usually a better option. Must. Learn. To. Eat. Slower.

Helene said...

I usually eat a fruit before going out. I also look at the menu on internet and try to make a wise choice and I pass the bread and desert.

Chef E said...

That is a secret I will share about restaurants they turn up the music to get people to be louder then you eat faster...must be why we ate our Ethiopian blog food in under and hour and that was arrival and departure, we were ready to get out of their and they had a live band...wheeewwww, I think I just said that fast too!

Reeni♥ said...

I always order hot tea, even at dinner time, and ask for my salad dressing on the side. I always take some of my food home for lunch the next day, when my plate comes I decide how much I'm going to eat and stick to it. I used to order soup and stopped for some reason, but thanks for the reminder!

Tangled Noodle said...

There are some great strategies offered in your post and these comments. I usually do tea at Asian restaurants (especially at dim sum, which is a rolling buffet). At restaurants, we never order appetizers - it's straight to entrees; we almost never order dessert, preferring coffee at home. Generally, I'll order whatever looks good to me but try to leave at least half to be brought home.

Mama Chicken said...

We don't get out to eat very often these days, but when we do I always order water to start and try to drink a full glass before eating. We just went out to dinner on Sunday for my in-laws anniversary, and we totally ruined it for ourselves by checking the menu before we went and the nutrition info (happened that it was a chain restaurant). Was glad to discover beforehand that the two entree salads on the menu both had 100 grams of fat! - more than some of the more obviously rich (alfredo, etc) entrees. I love the suggestion of hot tea, since I love it but had never thought of ordering it at a restaurant for some reason! :)