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eating out: favorite low calorie/healthy meal?

i have a hard time picking low calorie and healthy meals for take out or dining out (not that i do it often, i prefer cooking my own meals most of the time.. but can't always do that)

so, i was just curious what everyones favorite meal for take-out and/or dining out is.


Fri. Apr 18, 11:26am

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When I eat out or get take out, I find that usually the portions are a lot larger than what you really need to eat. Set aside half for another meal. My favorite low-cal meal is grilled salmon and veggies. Any grilled fish, shrimp or veggies will be low calorie (assuming it isn't covered in some kind of sauce. If there is sauce, ask for it on the side). Grilled chicken is fairly low-calorie too. Always get steamed or grilled veggies as your side, not french fries. If you really want potato, a plain baked potato (no butter or sour cream) will only be about 100 calories.

Friday, April 18, 2008, 11:33 AM

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3 options

In my experience you really only have three options:

1. entree salad - no dressing

2. split an entree with whoever you are with

3. eat half of whatever it is and save the rest

dinners out are usually like 1 million calories not counting the chips and salsa or free bread or whatever - just watch out there!

I know people probably have actual ideas, but that is where I am at...

Friday, April 18, 2008, 11:58 AM

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I usually go for the sirloin (grilled med-rare, no butter), salad (vinagarette on the side) and steamed veggies. The steak is generally 8 oz so I eat either half or 3/4 depending on how hungry I am and how much protein I got during the day.

The one thing I pretty much never order in restaurants is pasta. I can have it at home where I can control the sauce and portion size and fill it out with veggies, but restaurant portions are just incredibly bloated when it comes to pasta.

Friday, April 18, 2008, 12:10 PM

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My boyfriend and I eat out a lot. it is a diet nightmare, but its part of our lifestyle and i am trying to lose weight while still enjoying my life.
im a vegetarian so these are all veggie options - but those tend to be your best low cal options anyways when you eat out.

ASIAN i get anything w/ tofu and veggies - just watch out for what kind of sauce is on there.
SPORTS BAR/CASUAL i go for veggie wraps or veggie chili
ITALIAN - i usually do a pasta primavera with marinara (eat 1/3 portion) and then order a salad before with oil and vinegar - watch for cheese and crutons.
luckily i live in a town known for being health conscious so there are almost always great options - i dont know what i would do if i lived in the midwest or south.

Friday, April 18, 2008, 12:14 PM

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oh yea - i love MEXICAN - fajitias but only eat 1 or 2 of the tortillas and then if i am still hungry just eat the other stuff sans tortilla

Friday, April 18, 2008, 12:15 PM

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Big salad, and I get them to bring me a small bowl of olive oil and vinegar together, that way you control how much, and you are getting heart healthy olive oil.

Friday, April 18, 2008, 1:10 PM

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What I order depends upon my mood. Sometimes I order what I want and only take a few bites - and b/c it's usually so much more rich than what I would normally order a few bites is all I need. Then I take the rest home and eat it over several meals.

Or I order the grilled fish and plain vegetables, and even then, I rarely eat more than 1/2.

If we do take out pizza, I'll eat one piece and make my own big salad.

Something disturbing that came out in Men's Health - the calorie friendly meals in some of restaurants like Chili's or Macaroni Grill - have a boat load of sodium. At Macaroni Grill, they have a salmon dish with 3,000+ mg of sodium. One of the dishes had 7,000 mg of sodium. Yikes. Sheesh - if it's not one things it's something else.

Friday, April 18, 2008, 2:15 PM

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This has worked for me: order a salad as an appetizer, and carefully control the dressing. then order a grilled fish (and whatever it comes with) and, if possible, take some home. The real problem for me is the bread and butter or other munchies that are put on the table.
If there isn't a nice fish to order for a main course, another option may be to order an appetizer as a main course. Then I usually finish the portion (it IS smaller) but I pay less and get something reasonable.
It takes discipline, but then losing weight (for me) is about being disciplined in what I put in my mouth, all the time.

Sunday, April 20, 2008, 10:40 AM

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Veggie burger (can order w/o bun)
Fajitas (tofu or chicken)
"Market Salad" at Cheesecake Factory is like three salad portions
Baked potato - plain, then top how you want to. I can do one with a dash of salt and a little olive oil

You can always have the chef special make you a large portion of grilled or steamed veggies and have them prepare with minimal oil

Ask for ALL sauces on the side - some sauce has 100 calories in 1/4 cup

Sunday, April 20, 2008, 1:36 PM

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veggie stir fry, without the extra sauces and definitely hold the rice if it's plain white, but if it's brown or wild they can serve it in a separate dish on the side

dinner size salad with dressing on the side (just veggies, no meats that probably have nitrites, nitrates, msg, etc. in them -- but sliced egg is ok; and dip the fork in the dressing first, then spear a veg)

baked or broiled fish filet with a side salad (dressing on the side, or spritz with the lemon that comes with the fish)

I always drink just water or unsweetened ice tea with lemon. And I never eat their breads, because almost all commercial breads use too much sugar and possibly high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils. You can't ask the servers about these things because they never know. So I just don't eat them.

Sunday, April 20, 2008, 3:11 PM

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