Last week, when I posted about all of the Korean BBQ I’ve been eating, I received a question from a reader wondering how to eat out when you are trying to lose weight. I should mention that I’m not actively trying to lose weight, just maintain it, so if you are actively trying to lose weight, limiting meals out may be a good idea.

This is not an easy question to answer because there are so many ways, opinions and answers/suggestions on how to eat out and not gain weight.

Eating out for me is pretty much an obsession/favorite hobby of mine. I love exploring new cuisines and ethnic foods that I’m not familiar with in addition to any old delicious restaurant. I’ll try everything and every place once and so far, I’ve liked pretty much everything. :) I prefer to eat out on a regular basis, so I definitely rely on a few “tricks!”

Here are some of the ways that I enjoy restaurant meals without gaining weight: 

  • Decide what calories are worth it and which ones aren’t.
  • Appetizer or dessert.
  • Share! The Taster and I always share meals, and often just share small plates so we can try more items.
  • Take home some leftovers. When we had breakfast at The Griddle Cafe, the portions were so huge that we had enough leftovers to provide another whole meal.
  • Appreciate and savor delicious meals – having someone cook for you should be luxurious and special, treat it as such!
  • Don’t eat until you are stuffed. Sure, this will happen from time to time, but I make an effort to not leave a restaurant stuffed.
  • If you eat a large meal, don’t feel obligated to eat your normal breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks afterwards – listen to your body! Some meals we’ll eat a little more, and some we’ll eat a little less.
  • Eat the types of meals that you would typically eat at home. I often look for seafood or other protein and will usually request all non-starchy vegetable sides. Potatoes are not worth it to me, so I’ll typically skip them and ask for something else. (If I’m eating a burger, that is a different story).
  • Workout! Restaurant fare is typically a little higher in calories than a meal at home so it is just another reason to workout regularly. :)

Everyone has their own tips and tricks – please share yours! (Even if your tip is not eating out!) :)

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