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eating out help

hey guys, I have some friends that love to eat out. I've just started this dieting and exercising and don't want to blow it. I've successfully been drinking less but I LOVE dining out, so I'm worried about temptations. Last night we went for sushi and it was easy to pick healthy options, but they often go to italian, thai, noodle houses, pubs - I don't want to miss out. What should I do before/during to help me stay on track?

Sun. Mar 19, 1:37pm

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I love to eat out because I only eat half of what I order and then save the other half for a box and eat it the next day for lunch or dinner. The portions are so big lately any way.

Sunday, March 19, 2006, 3:33 PM

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Eat an apple or some veggies, and have a big glass of water before hand. This takes the edge off your hunger without sacrificing too many calories, so you do not go overboard on the bread basket, and you will feel less inclined to get everything that sounds good, because you are so hungry. Always order a water with whatever else your drinking. You don't have to order the healthiest thing on the menu, just make sure you prepare yourself ahead of time not to eat more than a proper portion of whatever you order, and then take the rest home as the poster above suggested.

Sunday, March 19, 2006, 4:47 PM

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This doesn't really answer your question- but I rarely ever eat out anymore...

why? Because when my friends and I get together, we go to someone's house and make dinner there. Great for numerous reasons- we control what we're eating, and know exactly what is in what we are eating. It's cheaper!! I admit, I'm an exceptional cook, so my friends love it because they learn stuff. And we talk more, and can talk about more private things in a kitchen than in a restaurant. We don't even want to go to restaurants because we have way more fun at each other's house.

Sunday, March 19, 2006, 9:33 PM

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Yep - we've really gotten to like each other's houses too. However when we do dine out here are a few things that help.

*split an entree or move 1/2 of it off your plate immediately.
*order any wine or alcohol with your entree and don't let the server bring it in advance.
*drink 1 glass of water before your entree arrives
*order a side salad with a light dressing and no cheese (or soup if it's somewhat healthy) before your meal - you will fill up on this and need less of your entree to fill you up.
*sometimes I order an appetizer as an entree if there's a healthy option but many places seem to offer the most cheese-smothered, fat-laden foods on the menu as their appetizers.
*I try to stick to food prepared in a basic manner rather than something with a sauce. Sauce usually equals lots of calories/sugar/fat the way most restaurants do them.
*In Italian restaurants stick to tomatoe-based sauces and avoid the bread plate and make sure you eat a salad and go easy on the pasta.

That all for now. Just use your common sense and ask your friends not to pressure you to overindulge or you won't be able to continue these outings and Bon Appetite!

Sunday, March 19, 2006, 10:13 PM

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See if the restaurant has a menu online, and choose what you will get beforehand. Lots of chains list the nutrition/calorie content, too. It's much easier to plan ahead than trying to decide when you're starving and faced with such great choices.

Sunday, March 19, 2006, 11:20 PM

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More Ideas!

Most places offer side dishes of steamed veggies, or a side salad, and a lot of times, you can get a baked potato instead of fries. Opt out of the rice pilafs (usually a lot of butter), and go for a steamed rice (if possible).

If it's veggies with cheese sauce, ask them to leave the cheese sauce off.

For salads-- if they have a vinegar & oil option, get the vinegar and oil. Sprinkle liberally with vinegar, top with a little salt and pepper and just a DASH of oil... :-) this usually works out pretty well... :-)

Drink Water with Lemon vs. soft drinks. Avoid ice cream drinks, or drinks with lots of sugar...

Split an entree with a friend or spouse but order only a side salad for yourself (some places charge "split plate" fees, but if you order a salad and then just 'pick" off of their plate vs. having them split it, you don't usually get that charge.)

At an Italian restaurant, opt for the red sauces (marinara) and avoid the white sauces (like Alfredo). Stay with sauces that have lots of veggies, vs. meats (sausage is VERY fatty!). Try to stay away from cheese sticks or fried things... Sometimes you can get a plate of crudite (fresh veggies with dip), just stay away from the dips....

Also, I have a Fat, Calorie & Carbohydrate counter from "Calorie King" that's small enough to fit in a purse-- If you know the types of foods available to you before-hand, you can actually look them up and see what is better or worse for you... :-)

Options for fish / seafood - opt for the baked (if no breading), broiled, steamed, poached or blackened fish vs. fried or breaded fish. These tend to be more healthy!

Monday, March 20, 2006, 2:08 PM

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No matter what you do you are still getting those extra calories so you need to compensate. Do an extra hour of exercise the day before and the day after. Cut some calories from your diet throughout the day to save up for the extra calories you will be consuming. Those extra calories are not such a bad thing if you compensate for them:o)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006, 9:01 AM

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