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Don't Let Eating Out Eat Away At Your Weight Loss Success

It's the paradox of the new millennium. As portion sizes in restaurants and fast-food establishments continue to get larger and larger, how can anyone on a weight loss program expect to get smaller and smaller?

Some restaurants are especially notorious for serving grandiose portions that realistically could be divided into two or three meals for the average person. That's not even factoring in the desserts, which — assuming you have room — are usually more than enough for several people to share. Is it possible to stick to a low-calorie diet and still enjoy an evening out?

Don't fret! We have some solutions for you:

  • Limit weekly restaurant meals to one or two, as studies show women who eat out more than six times per week tally up the calorie equivalent of two pounds per month.
  • Plan what you'll eat in advance. Call ahead to weigh your options for fresh fish, broiled chicken or grilled beef. Many restaurants are happy to fax you a menu.
  • Be the first to order — you'll be less likely to order something unhealthy if you don't hear what others order first.
  • Ask the waiter to bring the bread out with the meal, not before. Or, take one slice and ask for the basket to be taken away. You'll be less tempted to stray away from your diet plan by not having the bread in front you. Trade butter for olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  • If the entrées appear to be both big and rich, consider a seafood/vegetable appetizer and an interesting side salad.
  • If you do order an entrée and it is indeed too large, share it with a friend or ask that a third or half be wrapped up and brought back to you. This way, you can stick to portion control and turn one meal into two or three meals.
  • Ask for salad dressings/sauces on the side, then practice the"Dip and Drip" technique. Dip your fork, then lightly drip over the food to enjoy the most flavor for the fewest calories.
  • When it comes to dessert, think light and luscious if you want to stick to a meal plan. How about sorbet with fresh berries? If you really want to indulge in a decadent dessert, order one serving and ask for forks all around.
  • Above all, as you dine, focus as much on the people as the food. Whether for business or pleasure, enjoy the opportunity to connect with family members, friends or colleagues.

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